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Rockchinko

There are some games that don’t just get under your skin they create an itch that just has to be scratched. You find yourself hearing the music in your head. I bet you can still hear the Tetris theme just like the first time you picked up a green & yellow Gameboy. Anyone ever play a little game called Bejeweled? Oh yeah, the one that spawned an entire army of clones?

Today, you could arguably pin that title on Peggle. PopCap’s embarrasingly addictive game has a perfect combination of minimum skill & maximum distraction. The graphics are great & it’s got a lot of personality. It’s obvious Plaid & Pin the developers of Rockchinko have played Peggle because they’ve tried to beat PopCap at their own game. Too bad they don’t even come close.

Rockchinko is a new pachinko game that is trying to ride the Peggle craze for their own glory. The basics are the same – shoot a little ball to destroy all the red orbs. I found myself really wanting to delete this game almost as soon as I started playing it. The first thing you notice are the graphics. Which are, quite frankly, atrocious. Everything is pixelated. I don’t see how a developer can put out a game looking this rough. Not when you’re competing with the big development studios & you know Peggle will be out before summer.

Game play is slow & buggy. Your cannon also doesn’t show you the path your ball will take. Which means you’ll find yourself missing your target & wasting shots by just a hair over & over again. There are the requisite power-ups, but whatever. Power-ups just prolong the experience. The music does actually work. A base track is played in a particular genre & every orb you hit, makes a note in that particular style. Makes sense when you play it. But, take a look at the controls. I couldn’t even adjust the sound because the knobs are so damn tiny.

The final straw for me was when you’re about to hit that last orb & clear the level. In a direct rip on Peggle, the screen zooooooms in tight so you can get a super close up view. Great. i get a up-close view of a pixelated, blocky orb.

Instead of stealing, er, borrowing from a best-selling game, come up with something original. I’m a huge fan of the Treasures of Montezuma, a blatant Bejewled rip. But – it looks great & there’s extra stuff pumped in to make it less of a generic swap three jewels game. I’d gladly forgive the devs if the graphics were better or if they had contributed some new ideas, but this is definitely a pass for me.

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