The tricky part is the platform, as it is randomly generated each time the ball bounces on it. It may even be composed of many missing tiles that the ball will fall through. If the ball falls through or misses the platform completely, the game is over.
Control is entirely with the mouse. Click to start the game, doing so will release the ball from above. Next, move the mouse to position the platform beneath the falling ball. A small shadow will appear upon the tile where the ball will bounce. Make sure the ball bounces on an acceptable tile to stay in the game.
For every bounce of the ball you are awarded 50 points, and there are several different types of tiles to keep the game interesting. Solid tiles will simply cause the ball to bounce. However, as with any ball bouncing against gravity, the ball of Poom! bounces a bit lower with each bounce thus reducing the time you have to position the platform. Bullseye targets will give the ball a small boost. Radiation signs will give the ball a rocket-powered boost. Yellow coins earn a bonus of 250 points—in addition to the 50 points for a bounce—but provide no boost. Treasure chests earn a bonus of 1500 points.
Besides missing tiles, it is best to avoid the black and yellow striped tiles, as the ball does not bounce well on those. Also, be warned of the shiny blue glass tiles. The ball will break those and fall through.
Analysis: The graphical style of Poom! and its pseudo-3D presentation pulled me right into the game. I felt an immediate sense of immersion from the excellent physics implementation of the bouncing ball. There was a bit of a learning curve for positioning the platform just right, but once I learned to keep my eye on the ball's shadow, my scores began to climb.
The gameplay offers just about the right mix between chance and skill, thus creating a compelling experience, though not necessarily a rich one. The power-ups offered are few and sparse, and therefore I feel that the game could be filled out a bit with even more interesting features. Still, it's a fun little game in its present form.