Chu Chu Rocket might as well have been designed as an iPad game. The flat board, the simple 3D graphics, the muliplayer connectivity... so it's little surprise that everyone's favourite game of cat and mouse (and rocket) is heading to iPhone and iPad next month.
The premise is simple. You have a set amount of time in which to direct as many mice as possible into your rocket, while avoiding Kapu Kapus (cats) and trying to sabotage your opponents' efforts. All this is achieved by placing arrows on a tiled play area, which mice and cats follow without question. Whoever has the most mice in their rocket when the clock hits zero is the winner.
Above: The new Chu Chu Rocket, running on iPhone. Those tiny 3D mice look as cute as ever
The iPhone version looks pretty identical to the original so far and is said to contain all of the levels from the Dreamcast original. Here's hoping the game has a character edit feature like the GBA version, which let you draw your own sprites for the chu chus. Sadly, the iPhone game isn't going to be called Chu Chu Pocket, which is a missed opportunity, really.
In fact, the only real question mark hangs over the control method. Touching a square and then dragging your finger in the direction you wish the arrow to point seems the most logical way to influence the direction of the mice, but with the iPad version's rumoured simultaneous four-players on one iPad mode, surely the game wouldn't know who had placed which arrow?
Above: It's not only about the multiplayer - there are puzzle stages too
That aside, the game is going to look superb on the iPad's screen and should work brilliantly with the devices' connectivity. Chu Chu Rocket was the first online console game in the UK and is likely to be better than ever now the network is in place to actually make it playable without a second of control lag. And we won't have to put a quid in a jam jar to go on dial-up internet for an hour or so. Honestly, the things we used to put up with...
10 Sep, 2010