Roogoo: Attack (Hands-On) (Nintendo DS) Preview

By Mike Mason 13.05.2009 2

Review for Roogoo: Attack (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

A DS preview cartridge of a puzzle game I hadn't heard much of appeared at my desk not too long ago. That game was the Spidermonk-developed Roogoo: Attack. Sure, I knew the series had been on Xbox Live Arcade before but, other than that, I was going in blind. Which worked out pretty well, as the preview build of Roogoo: Attack is one of the most fantastic little surprises of the year so far.

Owing as much to the shape-slotting educational toys beloved by young children as it does to other block-dropping puzzle games, the game's premise is that you must safely create passages that allow puzzle pieces to make their way to the bottom of the arena by slotting them through the correct holes in circular boards. As pieces (they're actually meteors) descend, you tap on the DS' shoulder buttons to rotate the discs clockwise and anti-clockwise to ensure that the correctly shaped hole lines up underneath the falling block. Miss the correct hole and the block will be thrown away; lose too many and it's game over. However, unless the block is of a sufficient weight to sink through a level it will instead begin a stack, whereby further blocks must be landed on top of it until it's heavy enough to slip through. You'll start off with just a couple of layers of discs to go through and three differently shaped blocks (triangles, stars and squares), but soon things start to get a little more challenging as you have more block types that have further to fall.

As with any good puzzle game, the concept is simple but devilishly addictive. By restricting the controls to just two buttons, Spidermonk have been able to stop things from getting overwhelming on that front, so it isn't frustrating when the difficulty rises and more things get thrown at you; you just have to hope that your brain and fingers can keep up with the proceedings, which get frantic to say the least. In the preview build six worlds were unlocked (ten will be in the final game), each with six to eight normal levels and a further few non-compulsory extra challenging stages. What's most impressive is that a new gameplay mechanic is added for each of these worlds, thus slowly leading you into a far more complicated game than you see at the outset.

Screenshot for Roogoo: Attack (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

Initially you're just swiveling plates and sliding blocks through them, but it's not long before enemies begin to block holes and need to be dispatched by making your shapes fall more quickly to squash them. Butterflies might pick up your lighter stacks and carry them upwards so that you have to frantically swivel the plates again so the blocks can come back up through them without disintegrating. The aim then is to add more to the stacks so that the next time they sink through the poor little butterflies will be too weak to nick them again.

Colours of blocks will switch around to confuse you, and shapes begin to come in dual-coloured form (one shade on the top, another on the bottom) so that you must quickly flip them around to match the uppermost colour on stacks so that they attach properly. Whereas you have single blocks coming down earlier on, later you'll have sequences of blocks with no breaks in between that will require even faster reflexes and leave little room for gathering your thoughts. It's going to be interesting to see what else can be done with the final game, but whatever's in there, there's one thing for sure: it's going to offer more than a sufficient challenge for puzzle fiends.

It wasn't possible to play them in this build, but the final version of Roogoo: Attack features multiplayer - presumably a battle mode, though it'd be nice to think there are some interesting variations on that with the diversity in the single player - and a mysterious link up to the forthcoming Wii Roogoo outing, Twisted Towers.

Screenshot for Roogoo: Attack (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

Roogoo: Attack has come out of nowhere - and it's a delight. If the rest of the game holds up it's surely going to be one of the DS' best puzzle titles - not to mention one of the most challenging, as some of the extra levels are insanely difficult. In a criminally addictive good way.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

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European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   


*Adds to wishlist* Cheers for that Mike - I would have totally overlooked this...Just didn't look like anything special, but I'm a huge puzzle game fan, so will definitely have to check this out now Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Interesting, hope this gets a demo. <-- Tells some truly terrible tales.
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