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Roogoo Attack!

Score: 85%
ESRB: Everyone
Publisher: Southpeak Interactive
Developer: SpiderMonk Entertainment
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

It's practically an unspoken truth that puzzle games are at their best in handheld form. The "pick-up-and-play" appeal that most puzzle games strive to achieve is nicely complemented by the fact that you can, in fact, simply pick up and play the game when it is on a handheld system. Roogoo Attack! for the DS is the latest handheld puzzle game to continue this trend. The funny thing is that Roogoo Attack! is almost the same game as Roogoo: Twisted Towers. However, it is a better game because there are no poorly-implemented Wii-specific mechanics to bring the package down.

If you've played any version of Roogoo, you won't be surprised by how Roogoo Attack! looks. While there's often not all that much to look at, everything looks almost unnaturally soft. The Roogoo and Meemoos both register very high on the cutesy meter. The environments are distinct and interesting enough, but by the time you reach the end of each world, you'll definitely be ready to leave. There's not much animation work to speak of; there are a lot of falling shapes, and I can't really find much fault with the way they fall.

Roogoo Attack! sounds like a budget-priced title, for better or worse. It's almost (if not completely) identical to the work done on the other Roogoo games. The soundtrack is decent enough, but it gets extremely repetitive. The same goes for the sound effects -- each shape has its own themed group of sounds, and you'll hear each one more than you'd probably like.


Out of every Roogoo game I've played, Roogoo Attack! seems to be the one that cares the most about its story. A very short cutscene illustrates that Planet Roo has been sustained by the happiness-yielding Magical Meteors (read: falling blocks) for a very long time. King Goo decides to start stealing them for his own industrial purposes. This ends up transforming him from the happy-go-lucky King Goo to the evil King Moo. He corrupts a bunch of Roogoo, turning them into his faithful Meemoo. The lead Meemoo is Prince Moo, who is also selfish. Your job as the purest Roogoo on planet Roo is to "Stop the Meemoo and save the meteors!" Fear not. You are still sane. As is the case with most other puzzlers, Roogoo Attack!'s strengths lie in its gameplay, not in its story.

Combine a falling block puzzle like Tetris with the old adage about round pegs and square holes, add a liberal dose of spontaneity, and you've got Roogoo Attack!. Since your job is to return the Magical Meteors to Planet Roo, that's the crux of the gameplay. A number of discs with differently-shaped holes are inexplicably suspended in mid-air. As the Magical Meteors descend from the sky, you must arrange and re-arrange the discs so each Meteor fits in its corresponding hole. Of course it doesn't remain that simple; as you traverse each world, you'll find something different about your little delivery job. Sometimes a bunch of butterflies will take your blocks up a few discs, requiring you to adjust the discs yet again. Other times, Prince Moo will show up and merge two shapes into one. You'll have to think on your feet, and it's often fun.

Roogoo Attack! features local multiplayer (single and multi-card). It's a solid addition that rounds out the package quite nicely, even if the gameplay itself doesn't offer a thrilling multiplayer puzzle experience like Meteos.


Roogoo Attack!'s learning curve is very easy; the brief tutorial at the beginning of the first world sums up every part of the core gameplay. The real challenge to this game is in learning to adapt to the game's unpredictability. Your task is often on the side of capricious; some puzzles will force you to take out some Meemoos in order to get the Magical Meteors to their correct destinations. Some puzzles will scramble the order of your falling blocks, while others will drop several blocks -- almost all at once. Some logic-based puzzles will have you building treasure chests from the ground up, while others force you to follow specific patterns (dropping a bird's nest first, then an egg, then a hen). You'll have to be quick and smart. If you're not, the Lose Meter nestled in the left side of the top screen will fill up faster than you can say "what's that meter for?"

Roogoo Attack! has three levels of difficulty: Casual, Normal and Goo-Roo. Each difficulty level is faithful to its name, although I think the overall game is a bit easier than most other puzzle games.

Most puzzle games are incredibly addictive and have loads of replay value. I found Roogoo Attack! to be an unfortunate exception. Perhaps it simply lacks that one crucial element that makes other puzzle games so infectious (like the screen-clearing combos in Lumines and scoring a tetris in that timeless Russian juggernaut.

Game Mechanics:

Since the core gameplay of Roogoo Attack! is so simple, it's only natural that the mechanics are simple as well, right? Don't worry; I'm not setting up for a disappointment. The controls in Roogoo Attack! are pretty much spot-on, which is more than I can say for its Wii counterpart.

The shoulder buttons (L) and (R) are your disc rotation buttons. (L) will rotate a disc counterclockwise, while (R) rotates it clockwise. You can also use (Left) and (Right) on the D-pad for those same functions. Of course, what would a falling block puzzle be without an option to speed up each falling block's rate of descent? That's where the (A) button comes in (You can also press down on the D-pad). You'll be speeding up a lot after a bit of time with the game, whether you're smashing Meemoos on the head in single player or racing your friends in multiplayer.

If you've got both Roogoo Attack! and Roogoo: Twisted Towers for the Wii, you can unlock some bonus content through a simple connectivity function. All you have to do is load both games up, choose "Wii Extras" from Attack!'s title screen, and then choose "Unlock More Levels" in Twisted Towers's Options & Extras screen. Your DS will communicate briefly with your Wii and you'll immediately unlock a number of bonus levels for both games.

Roogoo was released for several platforms, and if you're interested at all in the game, you'll likely want to know which platform offers the best version. If that's the case, go with Roogoo Attack!. There are many reasons behind its superiority to the other versions, but the most important one is the fact that Roogoo is simply in its element on the DS.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

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