Project Rub (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 20.03.2005 28

When you think about crazy mini-games, the usual thought that pops into most people's minds is WarioWare, Nintendo's absolutely insane series. But Sega clearly believes that it has the same level of wackiness within its company. Thus, Sonic Team has put its head together on a similar type of game in the form of Project Rub. But has Wario's charm managed to 'rub' off on this or not...?

There is actually a point behind all the weirdness of Project Rub and that is 'get the girl'. A shy boy spots a beautiful lady on the street and falls head over heels for her, however, she is the most sought after girl in high school, with a smile that melts guys' hearts. Rather than remaining as a boy-hood crush, though, a strange man with bunny ears turns up and changes everything. This man, the leader of the Super Performance Group known as Rub Rabbits, gives the boy a shot at getting the girl in what turns out to be the most unusual love story you have yet to witness...

Screenshot for Project Rub on Nintendo DS

There is definitely a charm about Project Rub, just like WarioWare has. However, the two games are completely different in appearance, drawing barely any parallels. As the game focuses on the on-going love story, the main stars are the boy, girl and crazy bad guy, all of which are formed in very pleasing 3D models, albeit not very colourful ones. That is definitely Rub's trademark

Screenshot for Project Rub on Nintendo DS

There have been complaints since the Nintendo DS arrived on the scene, with a sector of the gaming community questioning just how revolutionary it really is. The reason for this is that developers have been rushing to get their games out in time for the launch window and this has ended up leaving some titles as nothing more than GBA games with a little touch- or dual-screen effect tacked on as an after-thought. Thankfully this does not seem to be the case with Feel the...sorry, Project Rub (ahem), with Sega's Sonic Team clearly understanding Nintendo's vision for aiming at a new area of gaming that will keep fans around the world from growing tired of the videogames Industry.

Project Rub contains various different techniques and minigames that simply could not be reproduced on any other system. There are games that test your reflexes to their limits, those that utilise both screens for real purpose, others where accuracy is of the utmost importance and some that just require you to carry out the craziest tasks you will have probably ever come across in the gaming world. Those who were worried about Sonic Team's diversionary game need not have worried too much, as this is amazing fun, yet a huge challenge.

From the start you are faced with 'Story', 'Memories', 'Option' and 'Maniac'. The options mode simply gives you the chance to change the in-game language when you start the game, with Memories being where you can access any minigame that you have completed in the main story section in order to hone your skills to perfection. Then there is Maniac, where players can modify the appearance of the young lady you are playing to obtain the affection of, but most of the options here only become available upon playing through the main game, again.

Screenshot for Project Rub on Nintendo DS

Looking at the Story mode, you are faced with seventeen storyboard scenes, each containing a variety of weird, wacky and wonderful games and scenarios to play out so that you can proceed. For instance, the introductory game has players rubbing a stomach in an upward motion to make a man vomit goldfish. Other tasks include tapping on a hundred bulls as they charge at you, whilst avoiding on-coming skiers; deftly manoeuvring a unicycle across narrow, winding paths as giant sharks jump out of the water at you; having to rub the girl clean, hold her hand whilst swatting bees, undressing her by a fire and dancing with her; as well as other boss battles such as trying to burn a large plant that is attacking you with its vines. There is such variety and a wealth of madness/enjoyment to be had here, making Project Rub one of those must-tries...

The problem levelled with this game, and one that I certainly have to agree with, is that it is all over far quicker than you would imagine. Whereas Nintendo's offering had vast amounts of mini-games to play through, as well as multi-player opportunities and secrets to uncover, Project Rub is far briefer, with no room for extra players to join in and the only real extras being the various outfits that can be collected throughout (with a few more being gained by putting various Sonic GBA titles in the DS system at the same time). The saving grace is that a few of the later games are very tricky to complete in just a couple of attempts, and perhaps this will add to the longevity for many gamers. The same is true for the section where you can replay any mini-game you have accessed over and over again to hone your skills. Maybe Sega will work on a future sequel that will vastly expand on this. But for the moment it lacks the length it should have.

Screenshot for Project Rub on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Out of all the non-Nintendo launch games, it is Sega who has created a title that simply could not be done on any other system. Taking a leaf out of Wario's minigame book, Sonic Team has crafted a damn addictive game in a surprisingly short space of time. A hidden gem...

Also known as

Feel the Magic: XY/XX


Sonic Team







C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (3 Votes)

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


Nice review 'raz, certainly scored higher than I expected. From what I've heard and read, it seems like a pretty darn addictive game, but a shame that it's pretty short. Hopefully someone I know will have it, so I can give it a test :Smilie

Good stuff!

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer

very accurate review but the length should be a bit more lower Smilie

You found the word nipple! And you love touching them!

hmmmm, mini game based games on the ds all seem to be a bit short atm :p

umm.. the name worked like this:

Project Rub (devlopment)
Feel The Magic (USA and Japan)
Project Rub (AUSTRALIA and EUR)

:lol: There are outlined knockers on C3's homepage! This must be a good review... and it is. Smilie :Smilie

Image for
TrUeShAdOwLiNk :link:

[ Edited by TrUeShAdOwLiNk On 2005/3/21 1:02 ]

Their money... their fun... their PSP...

Thanks :Smilie And yes, that box on the main page worries me... :eek:


Perhaps I was a little generous with the score for the length, but it's just that personally I've enjoyed replaying the games in the Memories section. I'm a sucker for punishment like that...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

It really is a very good game that uses the Nintendo DS hardware VERY well (better than Nintendo have in most cases, Wario excluded). Just about the right score in my opinion, nice work Adam :Smilie

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

So basically a good game that uses the DS hardware well but not as good as Mario or Wario?

Thanks James, and fenno that's spot on - the fourth best DS game on the market at the moment, I'd reckon (with the Top 5 being Polarium, Mario, Wario, Project Rub and Mr Driller...Smilie.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Comment From trinest:

umm.. the name worked like this

Project Rub (devlopment)
Feel The Magic (USA and Japan)
Project Rub (AUSTRALIA and EUR)

Actually... it was called 'I would Die for You' in Japan.
Jus Sayin...

Yeah, true - weird how the name changed so drastically as it's travelled through each territory...Anyway, hopefully good word of mouth will help this rise up in the UK charts tonight.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

I found the last level really irritating!

Darkflame likes men

A great review, and even tho I finished it within two days of sporadic play, the unlocked extra dificulty level has had me coming back again and again. I'm even playing this more than Mario DS and WarioWare!

I really enjoyed feel the magic/Project Rub. I think the game was a bit shorter due to the fact the game was a story. But, im really hopeing that UK sales wont stop Sega from making a 2nd and 3rd game. Things like blowing the boat and burning the plant were great mini games - i hated the snake though!

Yeah, trying to face off against the bulls, the racing level AND the plant, all in one go took a lot of concentration...but the last battle, :eek:, that drove me crazy.

There HAS to be a sequel to this, surely...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Rated better than Mario 64? I haven't checked to look if the same reviewer did both of these games but I presume different reviewers have different standards. I wouldn't be all that surprised if this was better than Mario though.

Jus sayin too...

I gave Mario about 9.5 and this 8.6...I think you've got the scores mixed up there :Smilie This is indeed an excellent game, just a little on the short side, with lots of room for future improvement. I wonder if places like Blockbuster will start up DS game rental at some point...?

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

Or he took Zack's score for Mario 64 DS :Smilie

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

Thank god for C3 delivering a good honest review. I've watched PR be swept under the table in favour of the overrated Wario Ware Touched.

I am enjoying WarioWare, though...and will have the review up as soon as possible. The fact that it is Intelligent Systems' first WW title it's certainly not a bad attempt at capturing the wacky humour of the series...

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

I would've got this instead of wario, but the though of shelling out another

I got a DS today with this game and I've completed it already. It was relativly entertinging but I'm probably gona take it back co it's just too short.

I expect a little more out of a Sega game to be honest.

This link doesn't work Don't click this link, it doesn't work

Nice review. I don't dig short games though... I'm not sure.

It got about the same score that I gave it in reader reviews I think. Good review, a really solid game, but not quite matching up to Wario Ware Touched. Almost, really close IMO, but just not quite.

They're both excellent for different reasons - and fall down in different ways, though. This is indeed short, Peletboy, but you have to remember just how quickly developers had to make the games to hit that 21st November US launch date.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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