Gamestyle Archive intro: a very overlooked GBA classic and addictive, if not extremely difficult and well worth tracking down even today. Writer JJ, published July 2001
Accessories: Link Cable
Release: Out Now
Sometimes the simplest concepts make the best games as Pong, Tetris or Asteriods have shown, yet make you wonder why no one thought of it before. Of course such simplistic yet addictive and time consuming games often annoy or take over your whole life, so much the better, we’re used to that at Gamestyle. Kuri Kuri is such as game, very much a Japanese take on that old game involving a metal tube + electric current going through it and a buzzer if you touch the tube – start again! Plus some originality thrown in for good measure. Just like the original game, Kuri Kuri involves timing, patience, planning, skill and just a bit of luck.
The concept is fairly simple and we don’t even need to mention the cute (for the kids) characters or story that Nintendo no doubt included to make the game universally appealing. Once anyone gets their hands on this cart you can kiss your life goodbye because it just won’t let go. Of course not everyone likes puzzle games but they do tend to appeal to the female sex more than most genres, so perhaps a safe bet with the girlfriend?
You have to navigate Kuri Kuri in his helicopter through a series of mazes and corridors that become more difficult as you progress. To put it simply, you start at A and must reach B as quickly as possible – if at all! The beauty of it is when the corridors become too small to fit through and you must use the rotation of the blades and speed to squeeze past. Adding to depth is the ability to change the direction of the rotation by using springs, very useful for some curved passageways. Later levels offer some insane designs that really make you think but do provoke console rage. Other joys such as doors, pistons, metal balls and cannons will be put in your way making completion even more difficult.
There are several modes on offer giving this title the depth that Tony Hawks lacked, you have – Adventure, Practice, Challenge, Versus and Make Up. The Adventure mode is based on the story of Kuri Kuri travelling through ten worlds trying to find your missing brothers and sisters. The challenge mode offers 50 levels that you must complete, can you achieve perfect scores? The unusual Make Up mode allows you to customise your helicopter once you have collected various bonus items on the Adventure mode.
In previous handheld games you were solely up against the clock or a high score but with the power of the GBA you can now compete with up to three other Kuri Kuri fanatics if you so chose. With only one cart being required amongst four its so accessible and great fun. For those not so good at the game, a handicap option is available but it does become very competitive soon after your first multi-player experience.
The graphics are cute and bright with the music fitting into that category as well, perhaps too cheesy for some? If I was critical (which I always am) then apart from the audio I cannot see why this game wasn’t released on the Gameboy Colour. Just like Tetris its one of those games which could appear on any format easily, perhaps Nintendo had put Kuri Kuri aside for the GBA. Surely not so they could charge another £10 to the consumer? As with other GBA releases its going to set you back £34.99 and Gamestyle thinks that’s just too much for a little cart no matter how good.
Nintendo have created their first classic for the GBA and we hate them for it!
Gamestyle Score: 8/10