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Game Review: Zoocube (PS2 Version – Also on Gamecube)

Chaining animals into lines? Lodged together in 3d? Is that legal? Zoocube seems to think so…

The Premise

It’s that old 3 in a row puzzler again, but this time its 3D Animals! Woohoo! The story is quite random, but thats half the fun of story mode.

The Gameplay

As with all puzzle games there’s the hook. In the centre of the screen is a 6 sided block. Animals will come in from the top, left and right of your screen. It’s up to you to move your block about the capture the animals how you want. 3 in a row means a nice chain which gets rid of the animals. So far so simple – and it is – for a while. However, soon there are more than say 4 types of animals coming at you, which makes stacking and lining up the animals you need all the more important and then they soon come towards you quite quickly. Some games are over in a flash, others if you can get the rhythm, will go on for some time. There’s a few different single player modes but they all amount to the same thing, however the multiplayer modes really add extra fun as you can do co-op or battle modes for up to 4 players.

The Graphics

Graphics, for all the shout of 3D on the cover, aren’t fantastic but they certainly do the trick. Nice to see puzzle games using FMV’s too.

The Sound

Sound here is quite cute, the music actually quite un-annoying (for a puzzle game that’s good!) and plenty of dodgy animal squarks and honks.

The Replay Factor

Single player is challenging but the multiplayer mode is where its at. 4 player fun is great to challenge eachother with, although it does take getting used to as a concept. However once you’ve picked it up – you’ll be throwing animals at each other like nobodies business.

The Positives

~New spin on the connect 3 puzzler

~4 player modes

The Negatives

~Reveals everything quite quickly do runs the risk of becoming stale later on

The Verdict

Zoocube is an interesting, if not a top of the class puzzler. It’s concept is a nice spin on the connect three genre, although when each tube has only about 7 spaces, you quickly find the levels can be over too quickly if you’re not careful. However, as a 4 player alternative to your usual suspects, Zoocube is a cheap option that can fit the bill.

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