Rescue the Chu Chu
We all take online play for granted these days, but not so long ago consoles were an offline-only experience. The Dreamcast tried to change all this by providing online support out of the box and as part of that package Sega included Chu Chu Rocket.
Maybe it’s because the game was the first slice of online entertainment many gamers got to play or maybe it’s just because it was cute and highly addictive but, for whatever reason, Chu Chu Rocket has a fond place in many gamers’ hearts. Sega knew this and the result is an iOS version that doesn’t mess about with the formula but keeps everything that made the game unique.
For those who aren’t familiar with Chu Chu Rocket, the basic premise of the game is to get your mice to their house, avoiding cats and other obstacles. To do this you have arrows to guide them on their way. Once they hit a wall the mice will turn right automatically. The important mode for many, though, was the multiplayer game that pitted you against up to 3 other players, all trying to get the mice into their house and away from yours. Frantic doesn’t begin to describe it!
The fiendish design of the original 145 levels remains intact for the iPhone version; nothing much has changed here aside from slight cosmetic changes to help the touch controls. Some may find this re-assuring, others disappointing. While it’s a shame that there aren’t any new puzzles, the originals were pretty much perfect anyway and unless you’ve only recently been playing through the original game it’s well worth playing these through again.
Only the control system has altered greatly in the move to iPhone. Now there is a swipe control to either place or remove arrows. It took me some getting used to in order to place the arrows fast enough for some of the later levels, but once you’ve got used to the new system it actually works pretty well and suits the format.
The online mode is still as frantic as ever. You can choose to play against human or CPU opponents, with the latter having a range of difficulty levels. The AI of the CPU opponents is pretty impressive and you can often have a pretty entertaining game against just the computer based enemy, but nothing beats getting a group of human opponents together for a go.
While it’s nice to have WIFI for multiplayer, having 4 people in a room together over this or a Bluetooth connection is far better. Nothing beats the feeling of victory as you see the loser’s faces fall in their defeat. The occasional slowdown in placing arrows does put a slight dampener on the action, though. While it’s not so noticeable in puzzle mode it certainly makes a difference in multiplayer.
Whether alone or with friends, Chu Chu Rocket retains the magic of the original and stamps its mark firmly on the iPhone puzzle scene.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 8
- Gameplay: 9
- Longevity: 9
Page 1 of 1