Platform: Nintendo DS , DSI
Publisher: SouthPeak Interactive
Developer: SpiderMonk Entertainment
Puzzle games have never been my forte; yet, I have to admit every once in awhile one grabs me and hooks me right in. Games like Tetris, Zuma and Bejeweled are just a few that come to mind where the simple puzzle concepts turn me into an obsessed maniac as I relentlessly strive to hit the next level. Roogoo Attack for the DS did not reel me in like some of the others have, but all is not lost with as the game does bring some unique elements to the table and some gamers may fall in love with some of the addictive puzzling aspects that this Southpeak game has to offer.
Visually Roogoo Attack for the DS is not bad looking game, but it is not a great looking game either. Compared to many other great puzzling games already on the DS, Roogoo Attack initially comes across as lacklustre, yet in its own unique way it looks as it was intended to look. It has a unique art style and the colourful levels give the game quite a bit of charm. It barely pushes the limits of the DS hardware but the presentation and vibrant levels make up for some of the graphical shortcomings.
Overall the audio in Roogoo Attack is typical of games in its genre. It features no voice work, repetitive music, and sound effects which could only keep an infant’s attention. There are little redeeming qualities in the games sound package and unfortunately I preferred listening to tunes on my iPod when playing the game.
Before I get into the nuts and bolts of the game let me first give you a bit of background in terms of the games storyline and concept. In Roogoo Attack your objective is to save the Planet Roo. You do so by defeating the evil dark prince Moo and his evil Meemoo followers by solving fast-paced puzzles. These puzzles are the ‘meat and potatoes’ of Roogoo Attack. Falling from the sky are stars, spheres, squares, and other magical falling shaped meteors. These must go into holes as you race and advance through various stages of the puzzles. It will very much remind you of those infant toys where you fit the different sized shapes into the corresponding holes. In Roogoo Attack you are tasked with rotating the platforms to make the shapes drop from top to bottom to feed Planet Roo. Sounds very simple but the game does get incredibly difficult as you progress.
As far as storylines go, Roogoo Attack is strange and fairly non-sensical. I am not sure why the creators felt the need to have a storyline at all as it really is unnecessary. Games like Tetris and Bejeweled can get away without a storyline, so why can’t Roogoo Attack? In any event, most gamers playing this game likely won’t concern themselves with the story all that much. I sure as heck didn’t.
As far as the controls are concerned, Roogoo Attack is well done. The main controls in the game involve rotating the towers with the ‘L’ and ‘R’ trigger buttons on the DS. To rotate clockwise, you hit the R button in your right hand and L button to move the tower counter clockwise in your left hand. Pressing the A button on the d-pad will speed up your shapes decent. This is very reminiscent of Tetris games which also allow blocks to come down at a much more rapid pace. This feature is not only good for those who want to speed things up but it also helps when trying to attack Meemoos who eventually get in your way. The first world in the game offers up a nice little tutorial which will help you become acquainted with the games controls. Overall the tutorial is clear and well done.
The single player mode has 11 different environments with over 100 levels. This fact alone gives the game a tremendous amount of replay value. Coupled with the $19.99 MSRP there is pretty good bang for your buck if you find the puzzling elements enjoyable. There are 3 difficulty levels and even in the easiest difficulty you will find it a challenge after only an hour of gameplay. The downside however is the game does get very repetitive. Personally I found that the fun factor was lost at about the 20-minute mark, but you may not experience the same. To its credit though the game does mix things up a bit by throwing out some variety. For example, it will eventually throw obstacles in your path and randomly change the color of the blocks as you progress deeper into the game. However, at the end of the day, the core element of moving the platforms so the shapes can proceed gets old real fast.
Roogoo Attack does have a multiplayer component where you can participate in single card and multi card games for up to four players. There are a variety of options and a number of redeeming features which on paper sound fabulous. Unfortunately I don’t know anyone else who owns the game and was unable to join an online game.
Considering the 20 dollar price tag, Roogoo Attack is not a bad little puzzle game for gamers on the go. If you are a fan of games like Tetris, Zuma, or any other puzzler, then Roogoo Attack might be right up your alley. That being said, the game gets repetitive early and I was pretty much done with the game after less than an hour of gameplay.