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Game Profile
Game Boy
Ninai Games
GENRE: Puzzle
PLAYERS:   1-2
December 29, 2001
Rampage World Tour

Rampage: Total Destruction

Rampage: Total Destruction

Rampage: Total Destruction

 Written by Alan Rumpf  on January 15, 2002

Review: Where's the rampage? It's just a puzzle game!

While it is now almost impossible to be an "original" puzzle game, Rampage Puzzle Attack delivers a highly enjoyable experience and gives game players an excuse to stare at fallng blocks for hours on end. The simple puzzle design along with minimal interference of the licensed characters provides for highly addictive gameplay that any age can enjoy. Midway could have sold copies of this game with just the license, however effort was put into this title to make it a quality purchase with or without the Rampage name. Sales would be increased even more had Midway cared to think about how much a battery save would improve the quality of this title.

It is impossible to describe a puzzle game without making a reference to a previous one. Rampage Puzzle Attack has a feel similar to Tetris in that you manipulate blocks. You control a row of six blocks along the top of the screen. You can swap those blocks back and forth as you align them into the pattern you want. Once you put together the combination of two blocks that you want to use you simply press down on the d-pad and let gravity do the rest. The idea is to match the block color to existing color patterns and use a Detoblock to clear all the connected blocks of the same color. The pieces you manipulate are blocks but when they connect to one of the same color they take on a more rounded globular appearance, which is very helpful when trying to figure out which groups are connected. It may sound a little complicated at first, but after the first two rounds you're good to go. You will need to build up your skill if you wish to clear all of the over 200 levels of puzzles.

It's an incredibly simple design, however as players gain experience they will begin to realize where to place Detoblocks in advance in order to rack up big combo points later on. There are four different solo-player modes; clear, puzzle, rescue and marathon. Clear mode is going through levels and stages in which you must clear all the blocks from the screen. Various levels use "garbage," platforms, columns, and dummy blocks to keep you on your toes and your wits sharp. In puzzle mode you must clear the screen in a certain amount of moves. Rescue mode has you clearing the level in a certain amount of time to save your fellow Rampage monsters that are trapped in cages. Marathon mode is straight forward and you play till you can't play anymore. With how easy it is to produce combinations on a clear screen this mode does not have the same draw as the marathon mode in Tetris.

Rampage Puzzle Attack also features three multi-player modes; attack, score and rescue. The modes are almost identical to the ones featured in solo-player, so you and a friend can enjoy the experience through a game link cable. What's even better is that only one cartridge is required to play along with your friends.

There is not much to say when it comes to graphical and audio features in this game, after all, it is a puzzle game. Still the colors are set to a nice tone and the game is pleasing to look at (which I ended up doing for four hours straight when I popped this title in my GBA). The backgrounds are detailed to the correct area on the 3D world map and the monster sprites are animated nicely too. The music does tend to get a bit repetitive, however the sound quality is excellent and the beast's roars are done quite well. It's no secret that the heart of this game is in its gameplay, however it is nice to see the developer Ninai put effort into rounding out the game.

Rampage Puzzle Attack does stumble and falls at one point: the password save. Thumbs down to Midway for not spending the extra dollar that would make this game one of the elite must-have on the GBA. The password saves all the information for the solo player modes, however it is 10 characters long, and even if you have a piece of paper with you at all times, it still becomes quite tedious to write down the letters and then punch them back in next time you start up. A portable game is meant to be just that. Passwords are a drag and the inclusion of a battery would make this title magnitudes better than it already is.

Bottom Line
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of Rampage Puzzle Attack and how many hours had passed while I played it. With an addicting and fun solo-player mode and the inclusion of a one cartridge multi-player mode this title is sure to interest any puzzle fan and other GBA owners as well. The password save feature keeps this game out of the 9.0 range, however I would still recommend this title to anyone looking for an addictive and enjoyable gaming experience.

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