MAGICAL DROP 3 / Data East / Arcade
Magical Drop 3 features the nicest graphics out of the series to this point, as well as the most modes of play. The main thrust of the game is the same - colored balloons fall from the top of the screen, and you gather them together and throw them back up in an attempt to chain as many of the same color together as possible. This time out, however, you can play in Adventure, Survival or Versus modes.
Adventure and Survival are for those who want to go solo, as you simply have to clear a screen of a certain amount of balloons before they fall on your head. If you're feeling competitive, however, you can take on the computer or a human foe in Versus mode. The gameplay is the same, but large chain combos will dump tons of balloons onto your foe unexpectedly, and the goal is to swamp them and force their balloon stack to the bottom of the screen before the same thing happens to you.
The game features a Tarot card theme, with cute and appealing characters and nice use of color. Each of the characters you can use is based on a card of the standard Tarot deck. Sound and music is serviceable, but nothing special, leaning toward the cute and bouncy side to fit the game's theme.
I like this one as a quick "pick up and play" game, the kind of game for when you just want a reflex-tester and a little stimulation for a short period of time. For that purpose, it's one of my favorites.
* Gameplay Video