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Showing posts with label BlobCat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BlobCat. Show all posts

A Brief History Of ChuChu Rocket! In Your Pocket

ChuChu Rocket! is a puzzle game that is undoubtedly a product of a struggling Sega. Imaginative, innovative, insane - one of the many one-of-a-kind experiments that was thrown at a wall in the Sega headquarters in the hopes that something would eventually stick and save the Dreamcast once and for all. Maybe this attempt to stand out was what led Sonic Team to create not just one of the most memorable puzzle games on the Sega Dreamcast, but one of the best and most memorable puzzle games ever made.
For the uninitiated, the premise of ChuChu Rocket! is simple. You place directional arrows on a checker board to guide mice (the titular ChuChus) to rocket ships, all whilst making sure they don't get eaten by giant orange cats that look like they are perpetually tripping on acid.
The guiding brainless animals to safety thing had been done eight years prior by DMA Design's Lemmings, but Sonic Team managed to take the concept and push it to the brink of madness whilst also throwing in a bonkers multiplayer mode and online play (that's still available today thanks to DreamPi). It serves as a high quality break for any Dreamcast fan who has sunk hours into deeper experiences like Shenmue or Phantasy Star Online who just wants to play something simple whilst also having an absolutely cracking time.

These days, with smart phones being in everyone's pockets, puzzle games that are easy to pick up and play function as perfect time wasters on a morning commute or even when we just can't be bothered to do anything else. Sadly, as I'm sure many of us can all agree, the vast majority of smartphone puzzlers are trite, micro-transaction ridden nonsense. But what if we could take a stellar puzzler like ChuChu Rocket! and play that in the palm of our hand instead? That would make perfect sense, right? Well it turns out that Sega did see ChuChu's portable potential...



BlobCat For Nintendo Switch - A Love Letter To ChuChu Rocket!

Like many Dreamcast fans I consider myself a huge fan of ChuChu Rocket!, and I joke that it's the best free game I’ve ever received - we Europeans had it sent as reward for signing up for the online service Dreamareana. Returning home from school one day to find a brand new Dreamcast game out the blue, thanks to Sega, was quite brilliant.

While it offered a solid and enjoyable single player experience, the 4 player battles that ChuChu Rocket! offered still rank as some of the best gaming memories I have; and it held the honour of being the only game I ever attempted to play online during the contemporary Dreamcast era.
My love of ChuChu Rocket! has always fuelled thoughts on why such a seemingly popular and well loved classic never really left the Dreamcast to find a home elsewhere, with a Gameboy Advance port and a fairly brief appearance on iOS being the game's entire post Dreamcast legacy.

It seemed like there was a void left by Sega, never to be filled with a true sequel. Step forward BlobCat for the Nintendo Switch. On first glance you could be forgiven for assuming it has some kind of official link to ChuChu Rocket! or Sega. For instance, the description on the Switch eShop reads: ‘The BlobCats are after the DiceMice! Place arrows to guide the DiceMice to the Micehole!’ This shows the clear inspiration that Christian Wasser and the team behind BlobCat (developer BySamb) took from the beloved Dreamcast title.