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Chu Chu Rocket (DC)

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      31.07.2013 14:56
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      A very simple but fun puzzle game ideal as an early online console game

      Chu Chu Rocket is a unique puzzle game based around mice (the Japanese word for mice being chu) who must escape from rampaging cats (or the Kapu in this game) by boarding a rocket for the moon. The game looks, sounds and plays as bonkers as the concept of the game sounds on paper.

      As the player your role is to guide the hapless Chu to their waiting rocket ship and freedom while at the same time keeping out of harms way of the Kapu who are trying to eat them. The game takes the form of an overhead perspective with a tiled grid floor and the Chu enter into the playing area from a number of specific spawning points. Onto this floor you can place one of four directional arrows, up, down, left and right. Should a Chu or a Kapu touch one of these tiles they will then walk in the direction indicated. The aim is to guide into your rocket while keeping the Kapu from entering your rocket, as they will of course scoff the Chu they find inside. On being killed you see the Chu soul ascending to mouse heaven with little angel wings.

      Where it gets interesting and challenging is that you compete with three other players (either human or AI of varying grades of difficulty) and you compete within the time limit to amass the most Chu inside your rocket. The first player to win 3 rounds will blast their Chu triumphantly to the moon. The trick then is to guide as many Chu to your own rocket while diverting the Kapu to the rockets of the other players. This then requires the right combination of tragic planning in where you place the cursors and quick reactions. Often you will have to decide between directing Chu into your own rocket or directing Kapu into your opponents rockets. In addition to this there are two specials of Chu that can emerge onto the play area, these are the Golden Chu which are worth the same as 50 individual Chu if you can bag them and "special event" Chu with a question mark above it's head that when secured will cause one of a number of special events to take place. The special events in question are "Mouse Mania" (Chu will swarm into the play area in continuous streams for a limited time) "Mouse Monopoly" (the collecting player will suck up all the Chu currently on screen) "Cat Mania" (Kapu will swarm onto the screen for a limited time) "Cat Attack" (this launches a Kapu directly into the rockets of the other three players) "Everybody Move" (players rockets switch places) "Place Again" (the action pauses and all placed tiles disappear from play) and "Slow Down" (where everything on screen begins to move in slow motion). A voice actor who sounds like they have inhaled helium announces each of the special events as they take place.

      In addition to the multiplayer battle mode there is a single player puzzle mode where you have to guide your Chu from their starting point on the grid to designated exits and avoiding roaming Kapu by placing tiles in the correct order. Once placed and the Chu set off the tiles can't be replaced. Depending on how you did the Chu will either make it to the escape exit or they will all be scoffed and you will have to try again using a different placement. Each course gradually becomes more challenging to figure out as you progress. Originally players were able to create their own puzzles and put them online for other players to download onto their VMUs.

      Graphics are clean and neat but very basic, though they do have a distinctive art style and timeless quality. Graphics were deliberately kept simple as originally this game was intended to be played online using a slow dial-up modem. The servers for this game will have been out of use for a great many years by now of course. Sound effects though limited suit the cartoony and eccentric nature of the game very well as does the high tempo and frantic audio track. There is essentially one main music track that plays over and over again on a loop during the 4 player battle mode and while well composed and fun this can be somewhat annoying after a while of listening to it. Different music plays for some of the special events as they occur in the game and the music track for the one player puzzle game is consists of a more relaxed and calming track as you take time to decide where to place your directional arrows.

      Chu Chu Rocket is a fun and novel puzzle game well worth owning for the Dreamcast if you enjoy puzzle games of this kind. Given that this game was originally bundled with the system as a freebie there are many copies available for pennies so there isn't a good reason not to own this game if you have a Dreamcast. While online play is no longer available you can still play against up to 3 friends if you own enough controllers to spare.

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      10.02.2010 02:10
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      Thumbs up

      "ChuChu Rocket!" is a puzzle video game. It was first released for the Sega Dreamcast in 2000 by Sonic Team. In the European marketplace, the video game received a guidance rating which deemed it appropriate for ages three and above.

      In my humble opinion, the puzzle genre has been established as one which features video games requiring slower and more meticulous thought processes. Cracking the simple intricacies that are the gameplay requirements tend to allow the player a considerable time for reflection and preparation prior to execution. ChuCh Rocket! is anything but this and is a much needed breath of fresh air. In a game of cat a mouse, the player will attempt to guide mice into holding chambers known as "rockets" in order to accumulate points. Players guide mice to the rockets by moving a cursor along a square grid game board which allows directional arrows to be inserted within a grid square. Mice naturally follow straight lines after being deployed from holding pens or "generators", but upon reaching the player's arrow square will immediately adjust their path to whatever direction the arrow happens to be pointing towards. Hindering the player's progress are a variety of cats. The cats eat their way through the scrambling mice but also follow the player's directional arrows. Should a cat make contact with a rocket, the player will lose all accumulated points held within the rocket. Quick wit and rapid reaction timings are essential for success in ChuChu Rocket!

      What frequently brings me back to this video game is its level editor. In it, players may position generators, rockets, and the initial starting points for mice and cats. This allows a near infinite amount of possibilities for a variety of challenges and handicaps, and continually breathes new life into the video game. The interface is based on the mechanics of the in-game playing experience which allows for a seamless transition between both aspects of the video game. While no longer functional, the online Sega network provided access to a vast amount of player generated levels which were freely available for download.

      The graphics are presented from an overhead perspective which looks down on the game in play. There's very little graphical prowess in this video game. Images are very flat in their appearance due to their two dimensional design, though I found it easy to differentiate between cats, mice, and aspects of the grid board such as rockets. The game is very colourful and almost comes across as something which would be appropriate for a mid 1980s arcade game as opposed to a more modern release. The soundtrack is also complimentary to this "vintage" characteristic. Musical scores are often upbeat, lively, and drawn out at the expense of being slightly lower in quality; similar to a midi composition.

      It is certainly not my favourite puzzle game, but ChuChu Rocket! provides an energetic spin on an otherwise monotonous genre. It is a simple video game in execution but provides a potentially limitless amount of way to interact with it. I would happily recommend this game to prospective buyers.

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      02.07.2002 02:40
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      Before anyone accuses me of plagiarism, this review can also be found at: http://includes.reserve.co.uk/reviews/review.php?custid=990359588#Raging%20Spe edhorn where it is my own work. Thankyou Chu Chu Rocket was a historic game for Sega, as it was the first game to be released on a console with online features. It is a puzzle game, in which you must simply get the ChuChus (mice) to the rockets without letting the KapuKapus (cats) eat them. You must use arrows to guide your ChuChus and bounce them off walls. A nice enough concept. In single-player mode, there are a series of puzzles to solve, all getting harder as you complete more of them. There's also a stage challenge mode, where you must get the mice to a certain point within 30 seconds without them being mangled by cats or falling into a bottomless pit. Then there 1 player battle mode, in which you must face up to 3 computer opponents in a 3-minute race to get the most mice in your rocket. The game really livens up when you play multiplayer mode. You can play with your mates with 4 players on one Dreamcast in a full-on battle, or, even better, go online to face people from all over the world. It's a real blast when you play online, and matches can be really fast-paced and frantic! One of the better puzzle games that you will play. The only real down point about this game is that hardly anyone else is ever online! Score 9/10

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        07.05.2002 20:26
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        Ready for a crazy game on the DC? Well Chu Chu Rocket is just that. The idea of the main game is to guide mice into your base using a series of arrows. Play against a computer or a friend - each one offers a different difficulty, as each game is ultimately different. Try a puzzle in puzzle mode - achieve the goals in the given time, trying to use as little number of arrows as possible. While you try to guide the mice, cats come after the mice and eat them! As well as diminishing your score, cats are bad news. Or guide the cats into the enemy's base, to reduce their score. In some puzzles, the idea is to feed the cats! The game is really that simple, but quick reactions are needed; especially when someone gains a bonus that speeds up play. But the forte of CCR is its online features - play other people online, again offering a variety of games and challenges - and your wins are recorded and you can see other peoples score. I try to stick with people equivalent to myself. The graphics are simple but effective, which works extremely well in a game of this nature. The sound isn't anything spectacular, but still useful in setting the mood in-game. Overall CCR is a sound package, but fails in its one-player longevity. Not bad for £3, as well as a new genre to look at. Advantages: Online capers Classic cat vs. mouse Create and download puzzles Disadvantages: Short one-player mode Difficult puzzles Need quick reactions IanJC

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          20.04.2002 06:04
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          Chu Chu rocket is one of the best value games around, starting off as a free game to anyone who owned a Dreamcast and signed up through their online Dream Arena portal, but nowadays as Dreamcast has gone past it's retail limelite, games for the format are available at a very good price indeed, be it brand new or second hand, most games are less than a tenner now! You should find Chu Chu for £5 or less, and what a bargain that is. Essentially an insane yet simple to learn puzzle game whereby you win by collecting the most mice, aptly named ChuChus, into your 'rocket', hence the chuchu rocket. You can play on your own, against one, two or 3 human or AI players as well as staking your claim against the best European players via the Dreamcast Internet. Beware of the Kapu Kapu orange cats who'll both eat the chuchus, as well as knocking a third of your score if they walk into your rocket. So here's the plan... Using the four coloured buttons as left, up, right, down, you can direct the way the cats and chuchus go as they come from their portals. You're only allowed three arrows on at any one time with the aim to get the most chuchus, avoid the kapu kapus - directing them to oblivion or to opposition rockets. Look out for the bonus 50 point Chu Chu and other special chuchus which have question marks over them, if one of these enters any rocket, a spinner will appear and the game will change in some way or another - you'll see the special features when playing. The game is absolutely frantic and can get really competitive, you'll often find the lower ability players ganging up on the best one, which can be frustrating, but the game never fails to bring a smile to the face and bouts of laughter here and there. With many modes of play including single player challenges, online play, 1-4 player battles, 1-2 player speed modes and more, Chu Chu rocket offers superb value in top quality puzzl
          e action which will last for ages. The graphics are very colourful, in a fresh 2D approach to keep things simple, everything looks crazy as it should do and that certain Sonic Team look can be found too. Catchy music, if a tad annoying, great sound effects - Chu Chu is a brilliant game, don't knock it just because you can pick it up for a few quid. Cheap is beautiful!! Thanks for reading KUMA

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            02.03.2002 02:57
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            Or will it? The bizarrely titled Chu Chu Rocket is an extremely original puzzle game from the makers of Nights, Sonic Team. Sega, those loveable cuddly bears that they are, gave us Dreamcast owners this game for absolutely nothing. This was a really stupid thing to do, I'd have payed for this :D The game's basic premise is that the mice, Chu-Chu must escape from the Kapu-Kapu in their awkwardly placed rockets. In order to do this, arrows must be placed to direct the silly critters into their rockets. Simple yes? Not quite, for the Kapu-Kapu are here to consume our furry friends for their own amusement (and possibly nutrition, who knows how many calories a Chu-Chu has?). As with all good puzzlers, the game has several modes. The Puzzle mode is a brain-taxing romp which involves planning and placing various arrows throughout a maze and then releasing the mice and hoping for the best. If one of your mice get's eaten, you'll have to start again. For the more insane action craving player, their is the most famous mode. This mode allows you to compete with 3 other players, human or AI, offline or online to get as many mice as possible into your coloured rocket using directional arrows. The tactics available are endless, though at the speed those little critters come, you probably won't have time to work them out. This mode is completely insane, it's fantastic fun and ideal for parties. To add to the already mad mix, Kapu-Kapu come every now and then to consume the mice and if they manage to land on your rocket, you'll lose a sizeable chunk of your stored mice. As if that weren't enough, prized gold Chu-Chu can appear which are worth 50 normal mice. Any more? Yes, the elusive pink Chu-Chu provides an interesting bonus when captured. A wheel containing several events appears which is spun and the appropriate event carried out. These events range from Mouse Mania, where the mouse flow in droves to be captured by the players to Cat Attack
            which 'rewards' the spinner with Kapu-Kapu attacking their coloured rocket. All this makes for some addictive puzzling fun. Their are also a few other modes and a level designer which will allow you to make your own fiendish mazes to trade with your friends (soon to be enemies if you're not careful) or upload to the internet for others to suffer ;) The online mode is equally fun, ruined only by the odd person who quits in order to preserve their perfect winning ratio. It's unfortunate, but some people in the world are just jerks. There is a also a delay in placing your arrows but this can be overcome by some more careful tactical planning. This game really doesn't have any faults. You could mention it's graphics if you wanted, but it's a puzzle game, what do you expect? It's sound is quirky and fun, it's more addictive than Pringles laced with nicotine and it's multiple game modes will keep you going for ages and always coming back for more. I'm not sure if Sega have stopped their free game offer, but if they have, you can easily pick up a copy cheaply from any auction site or even your local games shop. Get it and enjoy the insanity. TB.

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            09.02.2002 20:57

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            When I opened up my Dreamcast ?s box, I wasn?t expecting much from the game at all, now I know how wrong I was? From the Start this game draws you in, the veritable carrot in front of the donkey for the Dreamcast, which comes in the form of Online Play, something as of yet no-other console in the UK has yet to achieve. Although at first it lacks a little speed wise, after a little while you hardly notice the lag. Anyway back to the game, it stars loads of mice (Chu's) and lots of SPACE-cats, these cats have invaded the space station, and are attempting to kill all the Chu?s, therefore the Chu?s need to get into a rocket and blast away to safety. This game is far too addictive for its own liking, for one reason, there are loads of 1P challenges involved and the multiplayer is really cool as you really get into it if playing with another. Overall I love this game, and hope it is re-released on other consoles like the Gamecube or the XBOX, I know it has been released on the GBA, so I can fulfil all the Cat-Evasion away from my Dreamcast!

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            01.09.2001 04:22
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            You might not of heard about this game but it has been out for a while on the Dreamcast, and it’s certainly different to the other DC games. I first heard about this game on the net. It was on a website which when you signed up for it you received this free game. At the time it was Chuchu Rocket. I didn’t really know what to expect but I thought you can’t grumble with a free game. The postman came and I played it as soon as I got it. I have to say I did think it would be better but it was alright. After playing it for a while I did get bored with it. This game is not addictive, as you will soon lose interest after playing it for a while. This game is basically about cats and mice. The aim of the game is to get the most amounts of mice within the time limit. To prevent you from doing this, cats will walk into your rocket, which means you will loose points. You have to direct the mice into your rocket by using arrows. You have to be careful because the cats will follow the same route. The only problem is that the arrows will fade and you will have to mark them again. To make sure the cats don’t go into your rocket then you have to place an arrow in the opposite direction. You can only do this when there is a space free. During the game if a mice with a question mark above its head goes into a rocket, then the roll of a dice will decide what happen. For example it could be place arrow again. Which means you can put another arrow or it could be mouse mania or cat attack. Mouse mania is when you a massive rush of mice and cat attack is when one cat lands on all four rockets. When the game is finished the winning rocket will shoot off into space. There are four players altogether and you can have a four-player mode. Otherwise you will be playing against the computers. The game will only finish after three games. After this the winner will be displayed. This game cost the same as other DC games but like earlier I didn
            ’t pay anything for it. I’m glad I didn’t because I don’t think I would buy this sort of game. I knew that I wouldn’t get a brilliant game and I was right. What do you expect it was free! This game was nothing special. I’m glad that I didn’t buy it because I know that I would probably end up taking it back. I think this game is better for younger people. I think this because it sort of babyish. I don’t think I would recommend this to any of my friends as I know they wont like it. I don’t really think it’s worth your money as definitely wouldn’t pay £40 for it. However I do think that this is a good idea for a game as there’s not another game like this. The graphics on this game are yet another let down. It looks like a cartoon not a console game. I do think that the carton style does suit it, as it would look stupid if it had better graphics like the ones on Shenmue. Overall I think that this game is alright. Young children will really like this, but everyone will get bored of it after a while.

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              12.08.2001 17:46
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              "Sorry sir, but our warranty doesn't cover damage caused by user whilst playing ChuChu Rocket at 4am." I expect that any more ChuChu Rocket, and I will explode. I will start thrashing my controller on the floor, and possibly get to the state of throwing my TV out the window. My dreams have been infected with little mice running around arrows, and spinning tubes and 'Mouse Mania' signs. Just blame ChuChu. It's a Dreamcast game that is absolutely designed to annoy and aggravate you. My eyelids are halfway down because of it. The main aim of ChuChu Rocket is to get as many of the ChuChu's (basically, mice) in to your rescue rocket. That's because their planet is being invaded by KapuKapus (cats), who have a great insistence to eat the poor little ChuChu's. Very simple idea, but pulled off amazingly. You do this by placing little squares to direct the ChuChus using arrow signs. You can place these on the board, and they will make ChuChus and KapuKapus follow. You aim to get as many of the ChuChu's in to your rocket as possible by the end of the match. You compete against 3 other people (either computer or human controlled). There are two Special ChuChu's, one which represents 50 ChuChu's, and the other which brings up a random event from the following list... * Mouse Mania (hundreds of ChuChu's start running rampant on the map) * Cat Mania (lots of KapuKapu cats start running around on the map) * Mouse Monopoly (whoever gets the Mouse Monopoly has hundreds of mice sent flying in to their rocket... very handy!) * Everybody Move (all the rockets move places) * Cat Attack (all other players get attacked) The four-player mode is the main mode. You play this with 3 other computers, or a combination of human players and computers. You can also set the computer skill level. Along with this there is a puzzle mode, where you have to try and get ALL the ChuChus in to
              the rocket, without any cats attacking. You place all the pieces before the ChuChus move. This game is one of the most addictive DC games around, or should that be one of the most addictive games on any platform! Also, with the DC's inbuilt 33.6K modem, you can play online against others. You just logon and choose a competitor or group of competitors. You can even taunt them with the shoulder buttons. Also, once I have got 2 or 3 more controllers, it will be at the top of my multiplayer list. Definitely worth every single penny you pay for it. The navigation is very simple, and you can get anywhere very quickly. It was built by the 'Sonic Team' at Sega, who are famous for, yes, you guessed it, the Sonic games including the mighty fine Sonic Adventure. But if you are deciding whether to buy this game or not, please observe the following safety notice... WARNING! Playing ChuChu Rocket may affect your ability to operate heavy machinery, or write Dooyoo reviews. You should rest for at least 24 hours before atteampting to do anything.

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                16.07.2001 21:32
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                This game is Sega's first online game and it is a corker. You get a free copy for signing up for Sega's ISP Dreamarena which doesn't take long. The game involves you directing a line of mice(ChuChu) around an arena and delivering them to the safety of the rocket. Sounds stupid, and granted the idea is, but it's a great game to play. The action is fast as you struggle to keep your mice out of the way of those pesky cats that are out to ruin your fun. The game is suprisingly good fun cosidering all you have to pay for is the cost of a few minutes on the internet. The game gets frantic and has the Tetris-like addictivity to it that keeps you coming back time and time again. The name is not without fault though. Playing online is a nightmare. The Dreamcast houses a 33K modem which isn't as fast as the more widely used 56K. The game then has a one second delay which can cause you to die and fail as the game requires quick responses to save the mice. It doesn't matter about the faults though as this game is free. I don't think that I would have bought this game if it wasn't free, but nevertheless it deserves 5 stars for originality and a large amount of fun that's packed into a free game

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                  20.05.2001 02:50
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                  Oh what a funny game! ChuChu Rocket has to be the silliest, yet most addictive game my son has shown me on his Dreamcast! If you have access to a Dreamcast then you really have to play this quirky puzzler to appreciate just how strange, but highly original game really is! Created by the Sega in house Sonic Team division, this game was given away to all Dreamcast owners, for free, last year and has the best four player 2D action you can probably find!! The game doesn’t push the Dreamcast graphics too far, but it’s so insane to play! It takes around 5 minutes to click in, but you really do need around an hour to get really into it, so that’s what happened! I managed to complete the single player puzzles as well as totally thrash some Spaniards online over the Dream key network, and to be honest it’s one of the best games I’ve played, falling into the Tetris, Pacman and Space Invaders territory! The idea is simple, use the controller to place directional arrows so that these funny little mice things called ChuChu’s move into a rocket – your base. So each mouse is worth a point, and thus the player with the most mice collected wins the game! However you must avoid the evil cats that decide to be released from time to time, and eat up a third of your score, as well as eating anything in their way, so don’t let them into your rocket! Send them to someone else’s… You can play 4 player, 3 player, 2 and 1, in which case you can select the computer to play, it isn’t very good so you may as well put it in, just to look better! Graphically, no it’s not much to look at, but you’ll forget that as you soak up the hours playing and singing to the catchy tune ‘de-de de-de’ Anyway… So, it’s got funny music, dashing online play where a half second lag time does alter the way you play, but believe me this game is insane, but highly playable! My son
                  won’t mind if I swap his DC for my Mega drive, will he?? Thanks EYECATCHER

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                    11.05.2001 19:21
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                    When I first saw Chu-Chu Rocket, I thought that it would be a lame puzzle game. I was so so wrong. Although, it was a puzzle game, the lame turned into wicked. I instantly got addicted to it! Firstly, you control a group of Chu-Chu's (space mice)that are trying to escape from the cats!To move your mice, you must place arrows on the floor. When the mice run into the arrows, they follow the direction the arrows are facing. Simple huh! Wrong! At the same time you must get the mice into the rockets and the cats, well somewhere other than the rockets! The sound is cool, but can be annoying sometimes because at the speed that the game goes, all you will be hearing is cats and mice falling down black holes! The graphics, may be simple too, but they are vibrant and colourful. The overall gameplay is really godd, as you will want to come back for more. There are lots of different modes, for instance, Puzzle. Where you must get your mice into rockets using only a limited amount of tiles. Battle, where you and your mate/s (or the computer) can battle it out to see who can save the most mice! Overall, a cute game worth trying out.

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                      04.02.2001 23:52
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                      Chu Chu Rocket, is this a strange name or what? It actually suits the game in the form of being strange – I’ve never played anything quite as mad as ChuChu Rocket before! It’s made by the same people who have given you Sonic, Nights and Phantasy Star Online – Sonic Team and is actually a rather entertaining multiplayer, and online game! The best thing about the game, other than it being free with every Dreamcast is that it’s incredibly addictive! The graphics are very fresh and colourful, although the game isn’t 3D it certainly looks good. There are many different game modes including the dreaded online play: I say dreaded because people sometimes disconnect if they’re losing, and there’s a horrible half a second lag time! Considering how graphics light the game is, it’s very odd that there is any lag at all – even with a 33.6K modem! However, up to 4 players can battle it out online or at home depending on how you feel. I’m glad that you can play people from different countries though – it makes a changed beating the French at something. The game has a very hard 1player mode – lots of puzzles to solve over 90 levels I think – there are 3 levels of difficulty each with 30 levels (maybe 25 – I cannot remember!). The idea of the game is to guide as many mice to your coloured rocket before the time runs out! Beware of the cats as they’ll eat the mice and deduct 30% of your total score! You have to place arrows to alter the course of these funny little creatures – sometimes guiding them into your opponents’ rocket! It’s very playable, and easy to get to grips with – ChuChu Rocket deserves nothing less than 5 stars! If you can hold of the game then do! Jester

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                      15.01.2001 03:24
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                      ...Is that the cat that chewed your chu chus? "In a far away time, on a far away planet, there is a space port... this space port is inhabited by thousands of little space mice (the Chu Chus). The chu chus lived a peaceful and happy existence, until one day a bunch of space cats (the KapuKapus) showed up... now the Chu Chus need to escape in rockets before being munched by the KapuKapu!" "ChuChu Rocket" is a game for 4 players - these can be any combination of human beings (assuming you have 4 control pads to plug into your dreamcast), computer controlled opponents, or on-line opponents. Each player owns a rocket (positioned somewhere on the screen), and the object of the game is to persuade as many of the wandering Chu Chu's as you can to board your own rocket before the countdown expires. The player who gathers the most Chu Chus wins the round. Like many of the all-time greats, the gameplay is very simple... There's a playing field consisting of a 12x9 grid of squares, split up by dividing walls. Chu Chus enter the game from specific "hatches" and wander around the grid in straight lines, turning 90 degrees whenever they hit a wall. By dropping "arrow" icons onto the grid, you cause the Chu Chus to change direction (hopefully towards your own rocket!). This would be a very simple procedure, were it not for several complicating factors - firstly, you can only have 3 arrows in play at a time, and they fade away after they've been on the grid for a short while. Secondly, all your opponents are all trying to achieve the same object, so will constantly interfere with your incoming ranks of Chu Chus.... and thirdly (and most importantly) there's also a number of "Kapu Kapus" (space cats) roaming the map - if you divert one of these into your rocket, then a third of your accumulated passengers will be eaten! The action is really frantic - one minute you've got a stea
                      dy stream of Chu Chu marching just where you want them... seconds later one of your opponents has sneakily diverted them towards his own rocket... meanwhile somebody else has sent a Kapu Kapu marching towards you... it all seems sooo simple, but it's not very long before you realise just how devious you need to be to succeed, and get completely hooked on outwitting your opponents! To add a bit of variety to the mix, there's a number of pink Chu Chus wandering around the grid - if you get one of those into your rocket, a random "spinner" appears with a new rule to affect gameplay - the Chu Chu speed might change... players might swap positions... the map might be cleared of existing arrows... the dreaded "cat attack" might occur... etc etc. Presentation-wise, Chu Chu Rocket is a bit of an oddball... you could easily forget that you're playing the game on a state-of-the-art console, as the game is presented as a 2D overview, and has a distinctively "retro" look and feel about it. The thing is, it doesn't matter the slightest bit - the gameplay is fantastic, and the graphics are perfect for the job. Bizarrely, as you end each level, the camera pans out from the playfield, and the continuing action is suddenly rendered in very high quality 3d - but done in such an overtly "throwaway" fashion that you can't help thinking that the programmers intended it as a metaphorical "two fingers" to games companies who sacrifice content over style.... Nice! Besides the regular game, there's a 1-player "puzzle" variant, which gives you a restricted number of tiles to complete set challenges with. This is nowhere near as much fun as the proper game (which can just as easily be played by a single player!) but might keep you amused on a wet Sunday afternoon. There's also a puzzle editor feature, should you feel inclined to invent your own. As previously mentioned,
                      there's an option to play opponents on-line (in fact, "Chu Chu Rocket" claims a place in history for being the first ever on-line console game!) - there's also a "chat room" system built in for locating potential opponents, and other on-line features such as the ability to upload/download puzzle screens and alternative game graphics. "Chu Chu Rocket" is often bundled free with new Dreamcast consoles, and for a while Sega Europe was giving away free copies to anybody who registered for their online gaming service. If you haven't had the good fortune to get a freebie, it's worth digging around the 2nd hand games stores, as there's so many copies of this game in circulation that the 2nd hand copies usually change hands for well under a tenner. At that kind of price, you'd be mad not to get hold of it! In summary, this is a simple yet *thoroughly* addictive multi-player puzzle game... kind of a cross between "lemmings" and "pipemania", but much more frantic! Highly recommended!

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                        08.01.2001 23:25
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                        You can mostly tell from the name if a game's going to be wierd and Chu Chu Rocket is no exception. Quite a hefty amount of Japanese games tend to be wierd and the ones the make it over here tend to be the pick of bunch. Take Bishi Bashi Special by Konami for PlayStation who would have thought that tapping buttons to make a bridegroom run up the aisle to hurl is wife as far a possible could be fun? The same applies here. And of course this is THE first online game for any console in the world EVER. Gameplay The basic premise of the game that you have to guide mice around blackholes and cats with the use of arrows that point in directions. For those of you who have sampled the excellent game of Lemmings then the gameplay is somewhat similar, direct the stupid animals to their destination while making sure that they don't walk into danger. The basic one player game is fun enough and prolonged by the 'Edit a Track' option. However it is in multiplayer and online gaming that the game comes alive. You can play with up to 4 players and then the mayhem commences as you have to try and divert the mice, sorry, Chu Chus into your home while diverting them away from everyone elses. Adding to this are the 'Mystery Mice' who when they are saved let spin a wheel, which eventually lands on an option that will change the gameplay. For instance 'All Change' means that your home will swap with another persons' and 'Mouse Mania' where thousands of mice flood the screen. Oh, the fun! Graphics These are very simplistic and could easily have been achieved on the PlayStation or possibly the SNES but they easy on the eye and do the job well. Sound Very basic although when playing over the internet tapping the L and R trigger buttons can cycle through your range of insults to throw at your opponents. The music, well it isn't up to much and isn't really anything to write home about. The
                        noise when you rescue a Chu Chu is lovely though and brought happy memories of lemmings being saved flooding back. This game could have been one of the best ever but it is let down in several small ways. For instance the lack of multi-player options to alter the gameplay and also the simplistic graphics. But overall this an excellent game that any potential DC owner should pressurize the store into given them. Anyway it's free!

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