ChuChu Rocket iPhone game the multiplayer puzzler you’ve been waiting for

Oct 29, 2010
Games

Sega’s ChuChu Rocket! might not have the name value of Sonic the Hedgehog, but it remains an important video game because it was one of the first console games with an online mode. Historical importance does not sell copies, though. Fortunately for this Sonic Team release, what it lacks in name value it makes up […]

Sega’s ChuChu Rocket! might not have the name value of Sonic the Hedgehog, but it remains an important video game because it was one of the first console games with an online mode.

Historical importance does not sell copies, though. Fortunately for this Sonic Team release, what it lacks in name value it makes up for in gameplay that fits perfectly on the iPhone.

For the uninitiated, the game is a puzzler, with the basic goal being to guide mice (ChuChus) to escape pods by strategically placing arrows on a game board – all the while avoiding monstrous cats. Its doodle-like visuals fit the quirky storyline, and are very Japanese.

There are four modes, with the tutorial and puzzle modes providing a nice introduction, but the real meat of this game is in the challenge mode, and, to a larger extent, the four-player multiplayer mode.

Challenge mode gives you timed missions, and features much more – for lack of a better word – challenging puzzles. As with all good puzzlers, it starts off simply enough before becoming much, much more difficult.

As for my claim this game fits perfectly on the iPhone, that has to do with its multiplayer mode. You can play either a four-player battle or a team battle, and the game becomes much more hectic than anything you will find in the single-player modes.

While the gameplay remains the same, with each player placing arrows on the game board, various incidents occur at regular intervals. This includes things such as the mice being replaced by cats (deducting points from your total, instead of adding to it), or the board being cleared altogether.

I cannot speak to the app’s online performance, but I did not encounter any bugs on my third-generation iPod touch, and the game looked nice, though nothing special.

As a single-player puzzler, ChuChu Rocket is average at best; a nice idea that is fun in spurts. With the multiplayer mode, it is much more than that, and offers frenetic puzzle action that few other titles can match.

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