An official thread? An appreciation thread? Who knows?
Loopop Cube: Lup ★ Salad is a puzzle game, and frankly, the best puzzle game I've ever played, but hardly anyone knows of it.
This thread will (hopefully) change that, it'd be nice if at least one of you tried this game out as a result of reading this thread, the
game deserves it.
If you own a DS or a PSP and have the slightest interest in puzzles, you need this game.
I'm fairly confident you'll feel the same as me if you give it a go!
Salad is a character by manga artist Izumi Takemoto, and this is her game!
PSone: August 30th 1996
DS: January 31st 2008
PSP: January 28th 2010 - Also available on Japanese PSN for 3,990¥!
There's some dispute over the translation of the name (るぷぷキューブ ルプ★さらだ but the translation I'm using here takes into
account the "official" translation on the original release's spine (Lup ★ Salad), and the "Loopop" part is to make it as easy to find
as possible online. Play-Asia translated it as that so that's what I'm using. It should really be "Rupup," I've been advised, after the
noise Salad makes in the manga. Oh, it's not important!
Think Bejeweled meets Sokoban and you're half way there. Add in some platforming.
How does it work? Levels are set up as single screen affairs. You simply need to clear each level of coloured blocks to complete it
and move onto the next one.
It sounds simple enough but the level design is just awesome. Levels that look impossible can sometimes be solved by pushing
one block and starting a massive chain reaction. Levels that look easy can suddenly stump you half way through when something
you hadn't accounted for gets in the way of the solution. HA! You'll think, when the game tricks you yet again, lulls you into that
false sense of security. It's just lovely.
A picture tells a thousand words. Some pictures and words together, well, you do the math.
That's as simple as it gets. If you have four blue blocks you need to ensure that you get all four at once or you'll have one left over
and the level becomes unsolvable. The same applies to five blocks...
There are some special cubes, to add an extra element to puzzles.
Salad controls absolutely beautifully. While there's platforming, the focus is on puzzles so there's no need for inch perfect jumps
or anything like that. When you press left, Salad moves exactly one space left. When you jump, she jumps precisely the same
distance every time. It means that whenever you move her you know exactly what's going to happen, it's utterly, utterly perfect.
If you ever go wrong, a quick tap of a button undoes the last move you made. PERFECT.
This is what she can do
And that, kids, is how we play! Watch either trailer below to get a better idea too.
It was originally released on Playstation in 1996 and I know next to nothing about this, it never left Japan (a tradition that seems
set to continue.) All I have is evidence that it existed...
A video (blocks appear slightly differently in the PS game.)
The DS release was when I picked it up and was introduced to the awesomeness of this game, I had to have it based on the strength
of the trailer. It remains as the only game that's ever had me so engrossed in it that I've gone straight past my tube stop without even
noticing - I see that as a good thing!
Not only that, but I've lay awake at night, completely unable to get a puzzle out of my head, solutions swimming round - I've solved
puzzles without even having the game on! It can completely take over your life.
There's a review here, though admittedly I did write the thing. You can trust me! There was also a review in NGamer once but the
reviewer hadn't even played the game properly so it's irrelevant. There's another review here (in Spanish) which Google translates
into something which sounds like it's a good review. It mentions that Famitsu gave the game 26/40 but I can't find any evidence of
this and it's TOO LOW ANYWAY. Finally, there's an 8/10 review of it on World of Stuart, if you scroll down a bit.
The other thing to mention is its awesome music. It's kinda, silly, and pretty Japanese, but at the same time it's addictive as hell
and will be in your head forever. It does this without ever being irritating; I've played the DS game for over 60 hours, I'd say, and
haven't felt the need to mute it once. Each world has its own tune and every one of them is great.
As well as the standard puzzle mode which features 360 puzzles to solve, there's another mode which is called "hiking mode," which
generates thousands of puzzles based on combinations of words - there are some hidden surprises in this mode but I'll leave those
for now (they were certainly hard to find!)
A final note on the language. Yes, it's all Japanese, but no, this isn't a problem at all. It's really simple to work out, there are very
A PSP version approaches! I've a feeling that the main mode in the PSP game will be lifted right from the DS game, maybe with
a few levels extra; it's that good that I don't even care and I'm buying it again anyway.
There's also an added "cat mode" although details about this are currently scarce.
If you're torn between which version to get, the PSP version looks like the most complete, at the moment.
So that's Loopop Cube: Lup ★ Salad, and why it's the best puzzle game ever. Any questions?