Hands on with DS' rotatationally challenging Roogoo Attack!

Square pegs go into square holes

Hands on with DS' rotatationally challenging Roogoo Attack!
| Roogoo Attack!

It may appear that the last thing the DS needs is yet another match puzzler. Still, the peculiarly named Roogoo Attack! seems to show that mixing up the basics in an imaginative manner can result in a surprisingly enjoyable experience.

We got our hands on with a development cart of the game, which seemed fairly finished, although presumably publisher SouthPeak and developer SpiderMonk may have tweaked certain aspects for the final release.

The core of the gameplay is you control rotating discs. There an odd backstory about saving Planet Roo from the evil Meemos by guiding the differently shaped meteors that sustain and feed life to the planet, but what actually happens is coloured blocks - such as yellow blocks in the shape of a star, or blue square-shaped blocks, fall down the screen.

You control the rotation of a set of discs with corresponding holes of those shapes and colours. Using the DS' left and right shoulder buttons, you have to rotate each disc so the blocks drop through the correct hole and onto the next disc. You're only allowed to fail on a certain amount of blocks before it's game over.

To see how this works in practice, check out the gameplay video.

As Roogoo Attack! progresses, the blocks fall faster and there are more discs for you to control. The most important thing to note however is that once you get into spirit of left rotates anti-clockwise, right rotates clockwise, there's real satisfaction to completing each task.

Of course, this isn't enough for a full game so complexity is layered on to provide a sense of further achievement. Examples include the addition of enemies who sit over the holes. You have to get rid of them by tapping the A button, which speeds up the falling block and knocks the baddies off. Similar are the opening and closing covers. Again, tapping A at the correct time will speed your block through a slot when it's open.

As well as these, the game also starts to throw waves of blocks at you forcing you to remember the sequences of what's coming next in terms of which rotations you have to perform. Your brain really starts to get a workout in later levels where the camera angle is reversed and you view the discs from below, which - of course - reverses the controls.

So what Roogoo Attack! seems to offer is a good core idea with some obvious and some tricky variations added to provide extra depth. I guess the unresolved issue is how the balance between the two will pan out over the full ten themes, each consisting of 11 levels, experience.

Well, we'll have to wait a couple of weeks for that. Roogoo Attack! is released in Europe on 31st July.

Jon Jordan
Jon Jordan
A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.