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Puchi Carat

Game Boy Color

Taito

   

 

Okay I cheated, I don't really own this game and have only played it in ROM form. What we have here is a mix between Tetris and Arkanoid. Different colored gems fall down from the top and you have to bounce the ball up to knock them out. Every time you miss another line gets added to the top. Very simple, very effective, and very addicting.

There are little flashing gems that will take out a whole line. Like Bust A Move, if you hit a gem that's holding a bunch of other gems up then all of them will disappear (which is very satisfying.) Also for some reason occasionally a large group of gems will get knocked out by just hitting a regular gem, but I couldn't tell if this was intentional or a bug or what.

Control is pretty simple, move left and right. Duh. Your little platform moves a little slow, but you can speed it up with the A button. Therein lies the problem; The normal speed is too slow, and the fast speed is too fast. But I suppose that was the idea, the point of this type of game isn't to race over to hit the ball but to anticipate where the ball is going before it gets there, and admittedly the game would be too easy if the platform went at a medium speed. It's still annoying though.

Sadly there aren't any Arkanoid type powerups to be found, which kind of limits the game's appeal. How long can you bounce a ball back and forth before you get tired of it? Also the ball acts a little stupid sometimes. More than once it got stuck in a continuous loop that was only interrupted when the ceiling descended. Nice gameplay bug there. Also since it is a bouncing ball and not a laser beam or something you don't have much control over it. So what ends up happening is that one side of the screen will get cleared up faster than the other side, which starts to descend dangerously low to the bottom, and you're trying to get the ball over to knock those gems out but you can't because the ball has a mind of it's own.

Despite obvious gameplay bugs like those mentioned above the game is very addicting and has a personality. I couldn't tell what the story was because my ROM is in Japanese but I'm pretty sure the game was released stateside. The game lets you choose from several different cute looking anime characters that I'm sure Otaku freaks just love dressing up as, but the character you choose doesn't seem to make any gameplay difference. A fun and unique title.

Graphics: Decent, lacking a bit in the color count but animated well.

Sound: The usual GBC dinks and rings, but it's got some catchy music.

Gameplay: Frustrating at times but for some reason you just can't stop playing.

 

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