A cult-classic puzzle game by some, the Magical Drop series is a fast-paced puzzle game with an emphasis on matching colored orbs to create combos to crowd your opponents screen to win, similar to the Bust-A-Move series by Taito. Back in the day I've played a bit with an earlier entry, Magical Drop 3, and it was extremely fun. Now the newest entry in the series makes it's appearance on Steam and it is a blast.
Released on November 15th, Magical Drop V features a story mode for solo play, along with local play versus modes, which includes a 2-on-2 team battle mode and a 4 player king of the hill. There's also online play for each of the modes and leaderboards for high scores. The game features 10 playable characters w/ 4 unlockables. Each character in the Magical Drop series is made unique with a drop pattern. As you create combos, orbs will drop in a pattern unique to that character.
New in Magical Drop V is the Ghostlop game mode, which apparently was an unreleased arcade game that got incorporated into Magical Drop V. Ghostlop is accessed by playing a select few characters and at first glance it looks similar to playing Bust-A-Move, but it is completely different. Ghostlop is played by tossing a fireball up towards an arrangement of blue and orange colored ghost orbs, and to break them your fireball can switch between a blue and orange glow to destroy the appropriate colors. It's a more difficult game mode from my experience.
Winning a round of Magical Drop comes down to 2 different objectives. First is to meet the quota, which is to destroy a certain number of orbs before your opponent. The other method is if a column of orbs reaches the bottom of the screen. So to do real well in this game is to be fast and have a good eye for setting up combos.
The story mode is just your typical arcade style solo play where you pick a character and go through some short dialouge between them and the various cast of the game till you reach the final stage and play off against a boss character.
The sound effects are satisfying as you pop orbs and that really energizing ding you hear when you keep comboing goes into a higher pitch gets you pumped up. Characters are voiced in Japanese, but some of them can sound a little bit obnoxious. Music is a nice, light, and cheerful tune when on the various menu screens, while during matches they're more faster paced, but it's difficult to pay attention to it when the sound of popping orbs and combos are just all over the place.
Overall, Magical Drop V is a real fun fast paced puzzler that is great to kill any amount of free time. The game is available on Steam for $9.99.