Many will remember this classic title as one of the best games for the Sega Dreamcast, and we can all now experience this gem remade in HD and available for iOS devices. This is a great opportunity to get in on this title because Chu Chu Rocket was a Sega-only title and until now you could only play it if you owned a Dreamcast. But now you can experience Chu Chu Rocket on a modern platform at a bargain price. As it turns out, this title was a perfect choice to port to the iPhone and iPad just for the fact that touch controls make the game even better.
For those unfamiliar with the series, the premise is very simple. Space mice are stuck on a planet full of space cats, and it is up to you to guide the mice to rocket ships so they can leave the planet. Unfortunately, the mice can only move in one direction, but you can control the path taken by the mice by placing directional arrows which make them turn when and where you want them to turn. When you get all of the mice to the ships without them being eaten by the space cats or without sending them off the edge of the level, you move on to the next section. The gameplay is simple and addictive and the original game was one of the most popular of the Dreamcast era. (As a side note, who could forget those crazy commercials on TV?)
The single-player mode consists of twenty-five individual puzzles. Each level can be played individually, as a team, or as a 4-on-4 multiplayer match. The winning conditions change depending on which mode you choose, but the object remains the same: get your mice on the rocket ships. If a cat eats any of your mice, you will have to restart. If you choose to play co-op or multiplayer, you will be scored by how many mice you can get on your ship. The player with the most mice at the end of the round wins. The multiplayer and co-op modes have power-ups which can control the speed of your current mice or give you more mice on the board. The single-player campaign is much simpler by design.
This game lends itself well to the iOS and is easily one of the better iPad games available now. The touch mechanic is simple and quick and is much easier to use than the old Dreamcast controller. The graphics have been updated to HD, and they look great. The Dreamcast version is a little more colorful than this version, but this doesn’t take anything away from the game itself. In the iPad version of the game you can play up to four-player co-op on one iPad or local wi-fi only, and though it works, it is hard to see what you are doing if you choose to have four players on a single iPad. Putting that aside, the multiplayer mode is lots of fun and a welcome addition to an already solid game. The multiplayer mode is similar to the single-player version but now you
can collect power-ups that will grant bonuses such as more mice to send to the space ships, or extra cats to give your opponents headaches.
All in all, Chu Chu Rocket still maintains the same charm and addictive nature that it had when it was exclusively on the Dreamcast. There have been titles that took Chu Chu Rocket‘s premise to a different level since its original release, but that shouldn’t deter you from reintroducing yourself to one of the games that made the Dreamcast the system that it was. Also, when you consider the upgraded graphics, multiplayer modes and new touch mechanics, this game is hard to pass up, especially at the discounted price. We highly recommend this title for any iPhone or iPad user out there looking for a fun game that can be taken one puzzle at a time.
This review is based on a retail version of the iOS copy of Chu Chu Rocket by Sega
- Challenging in a Good Way
- Fun, Quirky Art Style
- Excellent Port to a Touch System
- Can Get Repetitive
- Lack of Modes