Oh SEGA Dreamcast. Your time on this earth was short, but you brought us so many games that we’ll never forget. One of those games was ChuChu Rocket from good old developers Sonic Team (before they made abominations like Sonic 2006 and Sonic: Unleashed, when their rep was yet untarnished), and it’s now been ported to android devices by SEGA. This simple yet challenging puzzle game offers hours of enjoyment, and it’s very well done.
The goal of the game is to guide the mice creatures known as ChuChus to their rocket ships, all while avoiding pits and the evil kitties know as KapuKapus. When you start a level, the Chus and Kapus will immediately run in a straight line, turning right every time they hit a wall unless forced to go left. The only way to guide the Chus to their ships is by placing arrow tiles on the ground which change their direction. You have a limited number of tiles for each scenario. The Kapus also follow your arrows, but they move slower than Chus, and the timing and placement of each arrow needs to be precise. Each puzzle follows these simple principles, yet there are seemingly limitless possibilities, as evidenced by the games 500+ puzzles.
Should you get tired of Puzzle Mode, you can take on challenge mode and battle mode to mix things up. Challenge Mode levels have you pull off very specific and unique tasks, usually within a time limit. You can place any arrow in any direction with no limit to complete your task. These challenges are often very creative, and a nice change of pace. Battle Mode puts you in a four player free for all or team based match against the computer, and is a race to collect the most Chus before time runs out. There are all sorts of special mice and crazy power ups that shake the game up. Things like a sudden surge of kitties or wiping every arrow off the board. All players play on the same board, and can place arrows anywhere, stealing mice and messing with each other’s set up paths. Unfortunately there is no online play, which makes the mode much more boring in my opinion.
The simple mix of 2D and 3D art is great, and they stylized creatures and drawings are quite memorable. Everything has a kind of crazy and frantic feel to it, from the gameplay to the music and sound effects. This is an excellent puzzle game with a lot of staying power, and it can be yours for the low price of one dollar, which is a steal. Check out this blast from gaming’s past, and enjoy.
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