Magical Drop II, is one of many games featured in the ACA Neo Geo series of game revivals of popular Neo Geo Arcade titles. It is a color matching style puzzle game where players must pick up orbs and move them to other spots to make matches in a constantly descending board.
While it may sound rudimentary on the surface, there is a fair bit of strategy involved. Out of all the matching style games I have played this one is easily the most fast-paced, forcing players to think and act quickly.
It becomes especially intense in the competitive mode, where you go head to head with a cpu or another player making matches, which causes their rows to fall depending on how big your combo is.
That is not the only mode however, it also features a slower, single player never-ending puzzle mode, and in the Japanese version of the game, which is also available to choose from, there is a preset puzzle type of game.
As this is an arcade style game hi-score hunting is a major component of the game, and avid fans of chasing hi-scores have two extra modes to choose from, as well as online leaderboards. There is a non-stop, one life, hi-score mode, and caravan mode which imposes a 5-minute time limit to get the highest score possible.
The main game itself is addicting, and I found myself wanting to come back for more, but I found it very limited and repetitive at times, so the added hi-score chasing modes are a nice addition which gives some needed replay value to the game.
My biggest gripe with the game is the fact that by today’s standards it looks outdated, the pixel graphics serve the game well, and do contain some charm to them, but even compared to the graphics of when it released it doesn’t quite look as good.
This issue is a minor one however as gameplay trumps all, and the gameplay is solid, feels good, and manages to be unique even to this day.
Overall Magical Drop II is a solid puzzle game, that contains all the charm and addictiveness you expect from a matching style game, but with much more intense gameplay.
Although it isn’t a game that will keep players entertained for hours at a time, it will keep you coming back for more, especially if you enjoy vying for the top hi-score, and at such an affordable price it’s hard to say no to this game. 8/10
*This review is based on the Xbox One version of the game, it is also available on PS4, PC, and Switch*