ZooCube (GameCube) Review

By Eggbert Manning 13.11.2003

The game looks nice, but nothing special. The backgrounds range from good to great, with some gentle water effects and soft details. They look as nice as they could do without distracting you from the game. The animal shapes are all pretty simple as you might expect, so they are easily differentiated and there are some basic explosion effects. The overall look of the game is good, not the game to show off the Gamecube's graphical abilities with, but it all looks nice enough and importantly there are no over-the-top effects to distract you from the gameplay.

Every time you pair up two shapes they change back to the animal they represent which is accompanied by a sound which you would associate with the animal. These do sound quite authentic and when you are combining many shapes consecutively, things can get quite noisy. Whilst the sound effects do not get annoying (perhaps because they sound authentic, or perhaps because there are so many different animals you do not hear the same ones over and over) we would still recommend you turn down the sound effects volume and turn up the music. The default settings have them both at the same level but you will barely hear the music behind all the animal sounds. This is definitely a bad thing, as once you turn up the music you will discover that it is actually rather good.

Screenshot for ZooCube on GameCube

As you may expect from a Puzzle game, the gameplay is simple to pick up, difficult to master and as addictive as a Terry's Chocolate Orange. It also happens to be brilliant fun. Controlling your Zoocube will become second nature in minutes, and this is the first Gamecube game where we have preferred to use the D-Pad rather than the Control Stick (with the C-Stick controlling the third axis of rotation). Once you have lined up your Zoocube with the current incoming shape, you can accelerate it with the A-Button, so you can revert your attention to the next shape as soon as possible. With a bit of practice you will be accelerating every shape, always keeping one step ahead of the game (and by the later stages you will need to be doing this just to keep up). It can all get a bit hectic, especially once shapes have started approaching you from four directions rather than just three, but its always great fun and with plenty of practice you will be impressed with how quick your reactions have become.

Screenshot for ZooCube on GameCube

So all of this should make for some brilliantly frantic 4 player multiplayer sessions, right? Well it should, but the problem is that once your TV has been divided into four, it can be very difficult to tell the difference between the different shapes. Especially once the shapes are coming thick and fast, you stand very little chance of telling the difference between similarly coloured shapes.

Screenshot for ZooCube on GameCube

If you have a large TV (and you need a 28" at the bare minimum) then by all means it should be a regular fixture when your mates are round (just after Super Monkey Ball) but if you do not, this will be left unused, which is a shame. For those of you with big TVs (or magnifying glasses) you can play both collaborative games (where you have to work together, swapping shapes to pair up all the animals) and competitive games where you can collect 'goodies' affect your opponent's Zoocube. This is good fun if you have the equipment to do so.

Screenshot for ZooCube on GameCube

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

This is a very addictive game that you will keep coming back to: just for one more go, just to see if you can get a higher score. Zoocube is certainly a game you will be playing in months to come. It is also very easy to lose track of time whilst playing it so if you have any important things you need to be doing you may want to set an alarm before you start. (Once you are good you will find your games lasting well over an hour and once you reach that almost inevitable 'Game Over' screen you are itching to try again)









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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