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Best DC Puzzle Games
The majority of puzzle games today are some sort of derivative of Tetris. It's amazing that repercussions from that little Russian game are still being felt fifteen years later. The Dreamcast's library of puzzle games may be small, but it hosts some high quality titles.
The country as a whole let out a collective groan when Namco announced its second Dreamcast game after Soul Calibur would be the cute puzzle game Mr. Driller. Ignore the world. Mr. Driller is one of the best and most fun puzzle games to come out in recent years. While more action oriented than most, Mr. Driller has enough elements of strategy and planning to make it a worthy purchase to any puzzle fan.
It's Meeesta Driller!
Although it appears to be a Dig-Dug knock off at first glance, don't let the first impression fool you. This is very much a Tetris/Puyo Puyo inspired game of falling blocks and chain combos. The difference is now you have to both use Mr. Driller to make the blocks fall and make sure he doesn't get squished in the process while digging to the depths of the Earth. It's the balance of strategic planning and out right fear which make Mr. Driller a joy to play and replay and replay and...
Chu Chu Rocket
Despite barely changing since the original, Bust-A-Move 4 is a great puzzle title from Taito. It's a spin-off from that old arcade classic Bubble Bobble, featuring cute Japanese characters battling it out to burst the most bubbles. The game consists of single screens where the user must fire colored bubbles upward to match sets of three together and make them pop. Its similar to an upside-down version of Tetris, except you move onto the next stage after clearing the screen of bubbles. You have a time-limit to complete the puzzle, and as you reach this limit the bubbles will move ever closer to the bottom of the screen, increasing the pressure. Bust-A-Move 4 introduces a new element to the series, pulleys. Puzzles with pulleys in them require you to not only burst all bubbles, but also to balance groups of bubbles without causing the other side to fall too close the bottom of the screen. It's an interesting twist.
That guy on the right won't be looking so smug once my bubbles reach him.
The gameís single player is very challenging, but can get boring quickly if youíre not the most hardcore of puzzle fans. However, the multiplayer mode is tons of fun, and sees two players competing to pop all their bubbles while simultaneously trying to muck up the opposing player. This game is definitely worth looking into if you like your puzzles games addictive, simple, and with solid multiplayer options.
Chu Chu Rocket was the first Western Dreamcast title that was playable over the Internet. But this wasnít just any old title Sega released to try and make milestones; Chu Chu Rocket represents Sonic Team at their (admittedly bizarre) finest. Itís a puzzle game that takes a cue from Lemmings, in that you must guide hapless creatures to safety. The goal in Chu Chu Rocket is to guide mice to the safety of rockets, past the dangerous cats and bottomless pits. The gameís single player consists of many different missions, where you must solve the single screen puzzles by guiding your mice to the rockets via the use of arrows. You are only given a specific amount of arrows, and with later levels it can be very challenging working out exactly where the arrows must go to guide your mice to safety. In single player mode you must rescue all the mice; simply place your arrows down and then press a button to start the mice running. If they all make it to the rocket youíve completed the level, if not you must tweak or rethink your strategy.
Look confusing? It is at first, but soon you'll discover t he method to the madness.
The beauty of Chu Chu Rocket is in its multiplayer functionality. Up to 4 players can play on a single Dreamcast, competing to guide the mice to their rocket, while routing them away from those of opponents. To make things even more exciting you can guide the cats to your opponents' rockets, costing them one third of their hard-earned mice. If you've got no friends, the online support allows you to play others around the globe, although things are slowed down a little to compensate for Internet lag. You can even use the Internet functionality to download user-created single player puzzles, or upload your own. Chu Chu Rocket is well worth adding to your collection if you like taxing puzzles and fast and furious multiplayer action.
Note to European gamers: If you live in Europe then thereís no excuse not to own this, as itís free and sent to your door once you register on DreamArena, the Europe DC Internet portal. Be sure to take advantage of this and score this excellent game for free!
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