Preview: Chu Chu Rocket for iPhone and iPad (with Video)

In case today’s release of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 hasn’t gotten you excited for SEGA’s mobile games offerings, I’m sure this preview will get you even more pumped, especially if you were a Dreamcast owner. Chu Chu Rocket will be making its way to both the iPhone & iPad this month and we were able to get some hands-on time with the game this week at a special press event in New York City.

In case you aren’t familiar with Chu Chu Rocket, it’s a top-down puzzle game where you’re required to complete each puzzle by directing the Chu-Chus into their rocket ship. When Chu-Chus come into contact with a wall, they instinctively turn right and continue moving in that direction. Certain levels will also include the Kapu-Kapu which when the come across a Chu-Chu, will eat them. Ultimately, players will have to direct Chu-Chus to their rocket ships without being eaten by the Kapu-Kapu.

Chu Chu Rocket will have approximately 144 maps to play on, 24 of which are multiplayer maps. The game will have the classic Puzzle Mode with 100 different puzzles, Challenge mode with 20 unique challenging puzzles, some of which allow you to play as a Kapu-Kapu, and a Multiplayer mode that can be played with up to 4 players through local Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The iPad version will allow 4 players to play on a single iPad, which will make things interesting seeing how crazy things can get during multiplayer matches. I forsee many sprained fingers and broken knuckles for iPad owners who decide to play local multiplayer on the same iPad so be sure to have a medic ready if you decide to go that route.

During the demo, only the iPad version of the game was available to play on. The game looks just as how I remember it on the Dreamcast. Given how simple the game’s controls are, the iPad & iPhone are perfect for it with their touchscreen controls. Each stage gives you a specific number of arrows that can be used on the playing field in order to direct the Chu-Chus. To set down an arrow, all you need to do is tap, hold, and drag in the direction of one of your arrows. Once all of your arrows are in place, you hit the “Start” button to have the Chu-Chus begin their journey. A “Dash” button is also available to speed things up if need be. Once all of the Chu-Chus are saved, you’ll then be able to progress to the next level.

The multiplayer mode offers a unique spin on the puzzle game. As I said before, you’ll be able to play with up to 4 players. If you don’t have anyone to play with, you can always sharpen your multiplayer skills against computer controlled players. Each multiplayer game can be customized such as how matches take, the speed of the match, as well as how many points each Chu-Chu earns. The point of multiplayer mode is to direct the Chu-Chus to your colored rocket ship and away from other players’ ships. Kapu-Kapus will make an appearance every so often, which when they come into contact with a rocket ship, will drop the points of player who owns that rocket ship. During play, a roulette will randomly pop up to change the game up a bit. A number of game changing elements is available such as speeding up, slowing down the game, or throwing out an increased number of Chu-Chus or Kapu-Kapus.

Chu-Chu Rocket for the iPhone & iPad is planned to be released October 28th and it looks like it’s going to be a great blast from the past from SEGA’s Dreamcast library of games. Hopefully this won’t be the last Dreamcast game we see on iDevices.

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