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Game Profile
Game Boy
GENRE: Puzzle
 Written by Daniel Ekman  on May 14, 2001

Import Review: Would you fancy a rotating stick?

Are you a puzzle freak? Are you proud over the more than two hundred hours you have put into games such as Puzzle Bobble and the like? Are you bored with all the lacklustre new puzzle games that don't quite manage to arouse you to the same level as Tetris did? If all of the above holds true when it comes to you, then you might just find your salvation in Kuru Kuru Kururin.

In the game you steer what looks kind of like a white stick through a course that's constantly changing in size and appearance. This is no regular run-of-the-mill stick either; in fact it's supposed to be a helicopter's rotor blades. Also, the so-called stick is constantly spinning and the trick is to steer it safely through the passageways without touching any walls or obstacles. It actually gets kind of problematic after a while and demands your full attention if you don't want to end up dead.

The controls are as simple as they can be with the player steering the stick with the control pad, while being able to speed up by pressing the A or B button. The L and R buttons will produce two different sounds that won't help you much, but they are kind of amusing all the same. And yep, that's all there is to it. However, simple doesn't always mean bad, and Kuru Kuru Kururin does its best to prove that.

The purpose of all this steering-in-between-walls is to get to a goal as fast as possible. Every time you hit a wall or obstacle, however, three seconds are added to your total time. But watch out, you can only take hits three times before you explode. The heart-o-meter that shows your health can thankfully be replenished in some courses, which you do at ?recharging stations' that look like huge hearts on a red background.

One of the most surprising aspects of this game is that it sports an instant replay mode. While quite fun at first you'll probably not use it too much after a while. However, it does manage to help the player at some points in the game: At especially tricky parts one might not have time to realise just what went wrong, but thanks to the replay mode one can easily locate the problem and thus hopefully address it.

I must admit that I didn't expect much from this game in the music department, but luckily I was pleasantly surprised. While the music won't receive any awards, it is good-quality music all the same, with bright cheery tunes pumping out of the small speakers on the GBA. Sound effects, while completely OK, are almost wholly excluded to the little twang from springs that you can touch to change the rotor's direction, the sound of your death after having hit that wall just one too many times, and the ?gooru!? (i.e. ?goal!?) shout that you'll hear when you arrive at the end of a course.

There are also multiplayer levels where you can go head-to-head against your best friend or your worst enemy. A meter on the bottom tells who's the furthest along while up to four persons battle it out. The best part of it all: only one cartridge is necessary for multiplayer goodness. While it might not be remembered as the best multiplayer game of all time, it still delivers a solid and seriously fun experience.

Bottom Line
This game is addicting while at the same time having an excellent ability to make you frustrated. The thing it lacks the most is diversity, though this can't really be held against it, as it's not claiming to be anything else then a 'simple' action/puzzle game. It's highly original and shines with simple yet brilliant design. Oh, and if you also have a friend with a GBA you will find that this game is quite a blast in multiplayer as well. Kuru Kuru Kururin comes highly recommended to all of you who want something simplistic, yet surprisingly fun, to spend your summer with.

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