Data East’s block-busting arcade, Magical Drop III has been re-released on modern platforms, courtesy of retro-enthusiasts Hamster, who have dusted off the ’90s classic for their Arcade Archives range.
Magical Drop III (aka Chain Reaction III) was originally released in arcades back in 1995, before eventually being ported to consoles such as the Neo Geo, Sega Saturn and PlayStation. Players pick from a selection of fun characters, each based on the Tarot, before engaging in frantic, head-to-head battles.
The object of the game is to gather similarly coloured blocks from your board’s top layer and re-attach them in rows of three or more. Doing so in quick succession, causes a chain reaction, which then deposits all your unwanted garbage on the opposing player’s screen. It’s an incredibly fast game that requires a lot of forward thinking.
It’s also my favourite title in the block-breaking genre, featuring great, colourful graphics, wonderful characters and some cool tunes. I’d love to see Magical Drop make a Puyo Puyo-style comeback one day but, for now, this re-release will have to do.
Magical Drop III is currently listed as being available in Japan on PS4 and Xbox One and worldwide on Nintendo Switch, priced at around $8.