Every now and again a company releases a game, which is simple but very, very addictive. There aren't many games that now rely on simple 2D graphics and really concentrate on the gameplay. Sure, the GBA cant really handle amazingly fast pure 3D graphics, which we see on the PC or the other consoles. But it is not really designed for that.
ChuChu Rocket! is one of those simple games, which has no scrolling or flash graphics whatsoever but instead delivers some great gameplay. The object of the game is to save or kill a number of space mice, called ChuChus, within a certain time limit. These ChuChus are stuck in a maze and run around like blue arsed flies, with nothing more to guide them to safety other than you and a couple of well placed arrow panels.
Saving the mice means getting a certain amount of them to one or more rockets. These rockets will then take off when all the mice are out of the maze. However, time is against you and additionally a few space cats, known as KapuKapus.
The game has various different modes of play. You can play 1 player puzzle, 1 player challenge, 4 player battle against 3 computer opponents or if you have any other GBA's linked to yours then you can play up to 3 human players. You also get to choose a 4 player team battle mode where you team up with another player or a computer controlled player against up to 2 other human or computer controlled players.
Challenge mode is very simple. You have to get all of the ChuChus to the rocket within 30 seconds. Fail and you will have to play the level again. Puzzle mode is slightly different. You don't get a time limit but you do get a limited number of arrow panels you can place. You place these when the game is paused and when you are happy, you un-pause the game and see if you placed them in the right places to free all of the ChuChus.
The great thing with the game is that if you do fail a level you can replay the levels over and over until you either give up or manage to complete them. You don't actually have to complete the levels in any order, as long as you complete them all eventually. In puzzle mode you can also go back to the levels and try to beat the time you previously set.
Another great thing in the game is the ability to create your own stages, not that the hundreds of predefined ones will ever get boring. What it does allow you to do is make levels for yourself and your friends, as you have the ability to exchange levels you have created with your mates.
One other feature is the ability to create your own animated characters. You can create up to 4 new characters, which can be used instead of the ChuChus and KapuKapus. These, like the levels, can be exchanged with your mates.
ChuChu Rocket! is quite an addictive game, coupled with the fact that the levels get harder and harder but it can also get quite annoying. Once you beat one of those tricky levels you'll be smiling once more however. Before you get to the next tricky level that is!
Overall ChuChu Rocket! is great. The graphics are nice and cute, while the sound, although very repetitive, is quite good. I have heard that this came out on the Dreamcast a while back but I think it probably suits the GBA better then the Dreamcast, as the game is one of those that is better played while you are on the move, on the train for example.