ChuChu Rocket! Review for iPhone and iPod Touch

By on Nov 29, 2010 at 9:49 am

In ChuChu Rocket! by SEGA, hungry cats are on the prowl and the cute mice need to escape. The ChuChu mice have already prepared speedy rocket ships for their getaway, but in their hasty attempts to dash away from the cats, the ChuChus might not take the correct path. It is your job to guide them safely to their rockets. Be careful though. If you make a mistake the mice may fall into holes or run into a cat’s jaws.

Review
ChuChu Rocket! for the iPhone and iPod Touch is a port of a classic Dreamcast puzzle game. Despite harking back from over a decade ago, ChuChu Rocket! remains just as fun and challenging as ever, although since I’ve never played the original game I can’t speak for it. Anyhow, other than the retro music and sound effects, ChuChu Rocket! on the iPhone feels as fresh to me as the puzzle games made today.

The puzzle game comes with a few basic rules. First, the ChuChu mice move in fixed patterns: straight until they reach a barrier (i.e. a wall), whereupon they will automatically turn right. That is unless they are directed differently with an arrow. If along the way they meet a cat or a hole, it’s game over. Luckily, you can easily restart each puzzle. Placing arrows is easy. You are given one or more arrows of a fixed direction in every puzzle. All you have to do is find the right position for each arrow, which you’ll lay on the map by swiping a square in the required direction. At the tap of “Start Dash”, the mice (and cats, if present) will begin running. If you make a mistake, just tap “Cancel” and touch the arrows to remove them. Since you are never penalized for restarting puzzles, this game is very forgiving, which also makes working your brain fun.

ChuChu Rocket! offers 125 puzzles in the main Puzzle mode, with twenty-five puzzles in each of the five puzzle packs available. In addition, Challenge mode presents another twenty-five frantic puzzles. You’ll be given a specific goal in each challenge, which you have to accomplish within thirty seconds. Challenge C1 Lunch time!! turns the tables around and directs you to feed the cat instead. With the cat and mice sprinting away, you’d best be lightning fast. If you still don’t have enough puzzles on your platter, you can participate in multiplayer games, where you’ll battle it out with one to four other players.

Since this is a port of a classic game, the graphics of course have a retro feel, but the artwork is excellent and not at all blocky or pixellated. Animation is smooth, and the rockets jet off beautifully with smoke and appropriate sound effects. Game controls, as described above, are simple and well adapted to the touch screen interface. I very much enjoyed solving the puzzles despite having played newer puzzle games that must have been inspired by ChuChu Rocket! I’m glad to have had the chance to play the original game, which demonstrates that puzzles don’t have to be designed in a complicated fashion to be fun and challenging.

Tips
Arrows will vanish if any cats run headlong into them twice. Apart from guiding the mice away from the cats and to the rockets, you should also make sure the cats don’t run into the rockets.

Recommendation
ChuChu Rocket! is an exceptional puzzle game highly recommended to all puzzle lovers. The game is currently on sale in the App Store, reduced from $2.99 to just $0.99 until Dec 1, so don’t wait any further on this.

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Photos

Note: A promotional code was provided by the creator for use in this article.

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