Rating

A

Specific Ratings

GameplayA+
GraphicsB-
Learning CurveB+
Replay ValueA-
SoundB-

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • HUGE assortment of puzzles (over two thousand!)
  • Create your own stages and characters.
  • Multiplayer modes add even more gameplay.
Cons
  • Graphics and sound are nothing special.
  • Some puzzles can be frustratingly difficult.

ChuChu Rocket (Game Boy Advance)

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Summary

The Dreamcast cat and mouse puzzler comes to the GBA!

Description

In Chu Chu Rocket, the goal is to guide your mice to escape rockets while avoiding pits and perilous cats, who would like nothing more than to swallow your precious mice-bots. You do this by placing directional arrows on the board that when your mice (or the cats) hit them, they will turn in that direction. Combining these arrows and timing your mice's movements just right will ensure their safety.

The game sounds simple--and is. However, puzzles become increasingly difficult, as the amount of arrows you have to use is limited (making you think where they need placedin advance), or huge (making you decide a chain-reaction type route to safety). Once all your mice are in the safety rockets, you can move on to the next stage.

The nice thing about Chu Chu Rocket is that if you get stuck on a stage (which you will, believe me), you can skip it and move on to another stage. The over two thousand stages are sure to keep any puzzle fan satisfied for weeks and weeks on end, but even if that isn't enough, the multiplayer modes add even more mayhem.

Play against three friends or the computer in a competition to grab all of the mice. By placing a limited amount of arrows on the board, you can direct mice from creation spouts to your color-coded goal. Power ups (like Mouse Mania, where mice literally flow endlessly from the spouts are dramatically increased in value) turn things up a notch, and the ever lurking cats can be used to damage an opponent's stash of mice...or yours. Keep the most mice in a specific time limit to win.

Or, you can even create your own stages (or characters to replace the cat and mouse sprites) and trade them with friends to add endless replay value.

There are a few problems with this game though. Some stages are absolutely mind-bogglingly difficult, and will drive you insane trying to solve them. Also, once you solve a stage, you're done with it forever; you can replay it, but there is really no point to doing so unless you've forgotten the solution. Thank goodness again for the literal library of stages to conquer.

Also, the graphics and sound are nothing to write home about, but they get the job done in keeping the game entertaining.

In the end, Chu Chu Rocket is a puzzle-gamer's dream, and shines in nearly every important way.

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