Tsuyoshi Shikkari Shinasai Taisen Puzzle-dama is an incredibly long name, and difficult to pronounce (for me anyhow), which makes me grateful that this is a fansite rather than a YouTube channel. That way I don’t have to butcher saying the name! But whatever (or however) you want to call it, call it damn good. It’s one of my favorite puzzle games on the entire Super Nintendo. Why? Let’s take a look.
CHIBI MARUKO CHAN NO TAISEN PAZURUDAMA
As previously documented, before I got back into the SNES scene in early 2006, I was living on planet Sega Saturn from 1999-2005. In the early 2000s I bought a rare import by the name of Chibi Maruko Chan No Taisen Pazurudama. I saw a screenshot of it on the internet and knew I had to own it. When it arrived it did not disappoint. Colorful graphics, cute chibi characters and a classic puzzle piece system made this an instant favorite.
Imagine my joy when I discovered in 2006 that Konami had developed a very similar game on the Super Famicom, Tsuyoshi Shikkari Shinasai Taisen Puzzle-dama. It was released on November 18, 1994 — one year before Maruko came out in the Japanese Saturn market (December 15, 1995). It features the same classic gameplay but obviously with lesser visuals. What I really like about it is that you have 10 characters to pick from, each with their own block patterns. Think of it as a beta version of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. It makes for some competitive battles and high replay value.
See? It comes off as an early beta version of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo which came out nearly a full two years later (June 1996).
I love the versus screen, too. It’s simple yet super vibrant and catches your eye. Gets you amped up for war!
HOW ELIMINATING PIECES WORK
Pieces drop from the top in two. They vary from red, yellow, blue and green. You can rotate them to be horizontal (or keep them vertical).
Pieces disappear when three or more like colors are matched. They just have to be touching (except diagonally) so it’s possible to form a match with two blues on one row and just a single blue right above.
GARBAGE BLOCKS NOT SO GARBAGE
Debris come in the form of clear blocks with a certain color encased. These blocks fall on your screen when your rival performs a nice combo. Or they can come from the well itself, which you don’t see a lot of in puzzle games from that era. The great thing about these debris blocks is that they have the potential for some lethal chain reactions. Anytime you clear faces touching a clear block, that block explodes freeing the color inside for proper usage.
Check out the lower bottom left. Those three yellow faces form a match and as they disappear from the field they free the three boxes right below.
The three then dissipate which clears the box right next to it. That box contains a yellow face, which is now liberated. That yellow face connects with the two yellow faces up top. Those three disappear which frees the three yellow boxes right next to it…
Just your typical 7-hit chain reaction! I love how crazy the combos can get in this game. It’s not uncommon to get 10+ hit chain reactions. I love how each match sends this projectile upward. It makes a sweet sound effect and is a nice visual to boot. Seeing fireballs shoot from your screen like 7-10 times in a row is a rush! It makes for some ideal trash talking and some serious sweating on your opponent’s part. It can be absolutely demoralizing to be on the other end and seeing and hearing the constant swoosh-swoosh. You know you’re in for one major pounding.
It’s so satisfying to see your opponent’s well rise and rise until their well is completely filled. Good stuff.
MORE COOL CHAIN REACTIONS
Connect the yellow to make a match and start this nice little chain reaction.
It drops the green piece on the other two green pieces. The green pieces connect and frees the red block there.
The three yellow pieces connect as the red connect. Just a simple little three hit combo to let your opponent know you’re here. Now, for a more damaging combo…
The green and yellow pieces connect for a nice six piece match. I love how the faces explode — their eyes and mouths pop before bursting. It’s the small details
The yellow piece drops on the bottom two while the four red pieces connect. Meanwhile, major liberation is taking place (which is the key to creating monster chain reactions).
The blue pieces connect, freeing that yellow imprisoned block there.
The yellow faces match, freeing two blue blocks and the yellow block up top.
Now the blue faces dissipate, releasing the two yellow blocks for the 6th hit of this massive combo.
As your combo meter increases, so too do the debris on your opponent’s screen. The characters’ reactions are priceless and add to the anxiety (and thrill) of a competitive contest. Seeing the characters wince in pain before crying uncle is all part of the fun of watching your opponent’s well fill up completely.
Tsuyoshi Shikkari Shinasai Taisen Puzzle-dama is a blast. It’s a ton of fun to see 10+ hit combos filling up the screen. It’s competitive, charming and cutthroat. And seeing the characters react in the background, whether they’re celebrating or biting their fingernails, never gets old.
“No, no, no! YES, YES, YES!” Ah, the back and forth of a thrilling match.
On the down side, the visuals aren’t the best. I wish the backgrounds were a little more colorful than the semi-drab green that they used. Not a deal breaker for me by any means but I’m sure Konami could have added a little more color. Another negative is that the pieces aren’t as operational as some other games in this genre. For example, take moving a vertical two piece set down a narrow column. In most puzzle games you can switch these pieces despite having no room. You can’t do that here. Therefore, you have to make certain adjustments. Again, not a deal breaker for me but it’s something to be noted.
Puzzle fanatic? Got a girlfriend or wife who isn’t much of a gamer, but enjoys these cutesy puzzle games on a casual level? Still rocking out with the SNES? If so then do yourself a favor and check out Tsuyoshi Shikkari Shinasai Taisen Puzzle-dama. Konami smashes yet another Super Nintendo gem. Unlike their other SNES hits though, this one never got the recognition it so richly deserved. Hands down Konami’s best kept SNES secret!