Developer: Tremor Entertainment
Genre: Arcade Basketball
Capabilities: VMU & Jump Pak Compatible
Well, this game came out for free with Issue 4 of the Official Sega Dreamcast Magaziene demo disc.(And just about all the other issues following it) It's a puzzler where you form chain reactions with certain colors of swirls. the more you pull off the higher the score you get. Will this freebie, be worth the developing dollars, or end up being wasted money which couldve been used to develop another Sonic game? Lets get onto the review and find out.
The graphics look all right, but nothing spectacular for the Dreamcast. You got the all the swirls in a nice variety of colors, but I'm sure the SNES can pull off the visuals just as good too. Oh, well, you do got some easy to navigate menus on the screen, the options are in polygons with simple lettering. The in game graphics are simple, you got a Tetris like drop box, filled with swirls, and a menu on the right letting you know your level goals, and scores, all the action is fit nicely on a 4 multi player screen, and moves at a fast rate. The opening game loading time is really a downer, as it takes about 20-30 whole seconds to load this game. But nothing is a really bad about the graphics except how simple they are, but hey its free, so what can you expect?
Well, you got this alright background music which sounds like it came from an old Charlie Brown special, and you get really neat sound effects when you pull off chains of swirls, the more swirls you pull off in a chain, the wackier the sound you get, like balloons popping, or a weird cheer for example, (in the PC version its worse, just only one simple sound for completing all chains of swirls) but that's about it for sound, nothing much good or bad to say about it.
Like I mentioned at the beginning of the review, you got a playing field/drop box like in most other puzzlers(Tetris, Columns, etc.) filled with a whole bunch of randomly colored swirls. By moving the cursor over a certain color it'll highlight all the other swirls that'll form the chain reaction by pressing the A button. The more swirls you pull off in a chain reaction, the higher the score you get. If you only press A and there's only just 1 swirl in the whole chain of swirls, then you'll lose points. There are a variety of ways to play. There's 2 types of single player modes, Single Challenge, and Level Challenge, One is just a free play where you can set a time limit to see how high of a score you can get(which you can save on a VMU and post on the Internet through your Dreamcast Web Browser), or go for a unlimited amount of time. In Level Challenge mode you got to meet a certain score for several different categories (called goals in the game, like performing a certain number chain combo, or low time, etc.) to go onto the next level, to make it even more challenging you got the option to set a time limit too.
Up to four players can play in a split screen challenge, where four players play on four separate screens at once where the player who scores 5000 points first wins, and also, there's another type of game which alternating is involved, where all four players play on the same playing field(Much like the co-operative mode in the Tengen NES version of Tetris, read my review for that game if you don't know what I'm talking about.). There's also an e-mail challenge to where you take ages to complete a game (But it takes forever to complete like all those other email games like E-mail Chess). All these extra options boost up the replay value a lot!
+: Fun, addictive Concept, Up to 4 players can play simultaneously, a great freebie
-: Really simple graphics and sound, this might not appeal to most gamers
The Final Ratings Rundown
Game play: 8.7
Replay Value: 8.2
Rounded to fit GameFAQs Score: 7
A fun, unique, puzzler by Sega, simple at first, but like most puzzlers it gets addicting after a while, and it's a lot of fun too if you grab friends for a multi player frenzy. If you subscribe to the Official Dreamcast mag, you already got this game coming to you because its on just about every demo disc with the magazine, and it is also included for free with all Dreamcast systems too, if you still dont have it you than pick it up at the newsstand for just $8, or call Sega and they will just mail you a copy for free. So it's a good buy either way.