Review by NekoFever

"And you thought Tetris had a long lifespan!"

Anyone who has played Chu Chu Rocket on Dreamcast will know what this game is all about. In fact, one of the power-ups sums the game up in two words: MOUSE MANIA!

The idea is simple: in the Battle mode you collect as many mice as possible in your rocket by placing up to three directional arrows on a grid. The mice are like lemmings, running blindly into whatever dangers lay ahead, only turning when they hit a wall or your arrows. There are three types of mice - normal, worth 1 mouse, gold, worth 50 mice, and special, which will set off a special event ranging from Mouse Mania (literally hundreds of mice flow into the arena), to Everybody Move (everyone's rockets switch places). One event has been lost from the DC version, but there are several new ones such as Kitten Mania and Night Time. Of course, it's not that simple as there are lethal orange cats running around. They will kill any mice that they come into contact with, and if they get into a rocket, they will chow down on 1/3 of the the mice in there. There is another new feature for the GBA in that if the cats eat enough mice they will inflate, allowing them to eat even more mice from the rockets. This has a stunning multiplayer mode, as up to 4 players can compete on separate GBAs with only one cartridge.

The other main mode is the Puzzle mode in which you must place a fixed number of arrows to lead all the mice into a rocket, avoiding the cats. This is definitely like the classic puzzle game, Lemmings, an anyone with fond memories of that will play this for months. Not to mention that there are quite a few puzzles. 2500 puzzles, anyone?

Graphics:
Although the graphics aren't polygonal like the DC version, the game is inherently 2D so it works fine with the GBA and it's amazing sprite-pushing power. It's very cartoony and colourful and makes you wonder what Sonic Team were smoking when they made this game. 8/10

Sound:
The music is straight out of the DC version and will bury itself deep inside your subconscious. All the squeaks, explosions, and speech are here, too, albeit not quite CD quality. 7/10

Gameplay:
This is as addictive as it gets. The action gets absolutely mental and is so much fun you won't want to stop. The controls, which could have posed a problem with only 2 face action buttons, have been well done, and with a choice of 3 set-ups there should be something that suits you. 10/10

Lifespan:
There are 2500 puzzles, a great battle mode, great multiplayer, team modes, special challenges, and level and character editing modes. If you don't have a long journey to play it on, take one. 10/10

Overall: 10/10


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/12/01, Updated 03/11/03


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