Pop n Twin Bee - Konami/Palco


Reviewed by Roger Post

Pop 'n' Twinbee is another Konami shmup that has made an appearance on a variety of systems. Any recent version is surely worth playing, but the older "grandfather" NES and MSX versions aren't really worth the time. I can't decide which is best between the PCEngine version and the SNES version, so I will recommend them both!

The SNES translation is basically the same as the PCE: bells, bombs, the works, the only difference are the levels, and now you have a punch button, for close range attacks that really is pretty useless, a special attack that spits out tons of little baby Twinbees, and the absence of the normal R-Type like power up shot. Notice this is two player simultaneous too, a great feature for a shmup. Always fun to have a go with a wingman on your side, provided he or she knows the ropes.

Here you can set the options. Normal is like a trial, surround circles, and engulf is my favorite. Engulf moves around Twinbee cornered off like a square, so you can set up a nasty crossfire, one great feature of this game.    
The levels and bosses are great, as you will see from the pics, but I have a rule that if I can't remember the music, it must not be too hot. And since I'm not humming the PNT tunes, it is a little lacking.

The latter bosses are cool, from a mad scientist to a giant mech version of Twinbee. Those two crazy characters, the Twinbee kids are back again too, and by now I'm really curious to hear their story......who are they, where did they come from, what is their favorite flavor of ice cream, etc.

But since Konami didn't release this in the U.S. AGAIN (strike 3 guys).....I guess I'll never know. (They didn't? Heh heh, we got it in the UK...Nyaaa!!! - Malc)

The bells that appear (from shooting clouds - obviously ;) are your source of powerups. The Blue Bell is a speed up, The Green Bell gives you an option ship, Pink is shield, Purple gives you a green laser, and Silver makes your bullets go all fluffy and happy.

LEVEL 1 - Dandelion Town

The happy suburban town of Shmupieville, compete with roaming pineapples. They lower the property value, I hear. Use your bombs on these Del Monte tearaways and do your bit for the neighborhood.


The level one boss eats ships like you for breakfast. After he lets this guy go, blast away, expose the center.....


Finish the job by evicting the resident pirates, who shoot cannonballs at you.

Recognise some of these guys from Parodius??


Yup, we even get the little between-level story pics in this version. By now, I consider these two characters close personal friends... neither of them look completely normal mind you.


LEVEL 2 - Underwater

Level two is an underground city, and there is probably cool underwater transparency effects, but I am too stubborn to read the docs to figure out how to handle all that tech garbage, so just imagine.

(Roger!!! Oi!! c'mon man it's dead easy! If anyone is playing ZSNES or SNES9x without 16-bit vesa colourmode set, you don't know what you're missing - wishy watery effects, yummy parallax layers... - Malc)


After disabling the background so I could see the boss (stubborn me), I laughed at how easy he was to defeat. This is no Gradius difficulty, folks.


Wait, second form, trademark of Twinbee games. His lasers cut 90 degrees, and don't leave much room. The grey bell weapon is best, a large plasma shot, compared to the purple bell three way which is too weak.


After fighting such vile mechanical beasts, Twinbee gets the floor wiped with him by a little girl... er, maybe not.


More levels coming up!!

Thank you mucho, Rog! The best thing I liked about Pop 'n' Twin Bee was the enemy characters, ranging from wibbly fish, blobs in baths, teddies, bunnies, hippos, mice, and some beautiful cute pandas!! ahhh... strangely though, I've never seen a bee in it yet though - Malc

June 1993, Issue 8 of SuperPlay, the best UK SNES magazine, with some great manga style covers by Wil Overton. Ace stuff.
<-- Here's a retouched scan of the image, click on it for a big image, stick it on yer background or something equally useful.... or if you want it on a black background depress mouse left bollock ICI...


shmups!   © 1997 - 2007  Malcolm Laurie