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So you like rainbows, butterflies, hearts, stars and cutesy little characters? Well the new game called "Roogoo" on Xbox Live Arcade might remind you of the Care Bears... if the Care Bears were sadistic little monsters who liked to torture you that is!

Square Peg in a Round Hole

When they asked Scott March, president of SpiderMonk Entertainment, how he came up with "Roogoo", he said "Roogoo came about in a dream I had one night and, no...I was not on any drugs or sleeping pills."

So Scott woke up and sketched out the beginnings of what would become at first glance-a simple Xbox Live Arcade puzzle game. Basically a game, where you're simply using the left and right bumpers to swizzle things around.

In other words, you must rotate a bunch of discs so that different shapes (circles, squares triangles etc.) can pass through them. If you don't line up the shape sorter correctly, the shapes fly off into oblivion, and your "lose" meter goes up. Lose meter hits the top, you ... well... you lose. It's kinda like what children have done for centuries with those wooden peg toys. But looks can be deceiving as they say. Like any good puzzler worth anything, it's easy to grasp but hard to master.

Who Stole Me Lucky Charms

For a game so cute you'll want to pinch it's cheeks till they hurt, "Roogoo" will have you swearing like a sailor by Level 3! Honestly, I think the whole cutesy setting is an add on to keep you from getting too furious at the game. I mean, who yells at cute little teddy bears, really? Back to the game shall we?

What's that you say? So far this all sounds easy to you? Not so fast, chum. Let me tell you it's hard! That's right I said hard! "Roogoo"' ups the ante with enemies (Meemos) who block holes, moving doorways and all kinds of other obstacles to drive you nuts!

It's more of a reaction test than a brainteaser.The twists just keep on coming. This does more than just prevent the gameplay from getting old, it practically reinvents the game on every level!

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That having been said, I am a bit confused by who the target audience of this game is. Again, it has a real child-like feel to it, but the game itself is quite tough.

My one complaint (and it's not that I dislike a challenge) is that I just didn't understand the ridiculous difficulty changes between levels.For example, the 5th level might be harder than the 15th level. The developers must have spotted this lil conundrum at the last minute and decided to allow playersto switch between Casual mode (for normal humans) and Challenge mode (for mutants who can slow time) at any time during the game.

There is a Multiplayer mode (that I haven't actually tried myself) that plays like the regular game only occasionally you get enemies tossed at you and can do the same to your opponent. However, the levels are the same, just against another person actively trying to get you to fail.

Graphics: The soft pastely graphics are super cute with rainbows, stars, fluffy clouds etc. Let's just say the whole game is just fun to look at. I liked the look of the game, I really did.

Sound: The sound is good, every song fits in with the overall theme. One or two of them are even quite catchy.

Just because the game is tough though, that's not to say that it isn't fun. It is fun to play- lots of fun. Sure it's rough around the edges, but it was obvious that the developers really gave this the old college try; they weighed, they considered, they tested, and they put together something decent. Just the very fact that it has a cheerful bear flying around the screen on a rainbow is enough for me.

That's all I ever really wanted.

More On Roogoo Here

Graphics A
Sound A
Pickup & Play B
Overall Fun B-

Posted by oxyjen on Jul 6, 2008


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