My first impressions of Roogoo from screenshots and trailers weren’t good. Despite being a puzzle game fan, nothing in Roogoo seemed to appeal to me but when I downloaded the trial from the XBOX Live Arcade, I was hooked. The objective in the game is simple. Get the shapes from the top to the bottom through a series of discs which players rotate using the left and right bumpers. Obviously, as player’s progress new obstacles and challenges will occur such as Meemoos (ugly purple aliens) standing in the way of your block’s paths, which can be defeated by holding A to speed up your block and knocking the Meemoo off the platform. Thankfully, they are the only controls you’ll need throughout the single player (but there are additional buttons for the multiplayer).
The story mode in Roogoo is that the planet Roo has been drained of all goodness and meteors are crashing into the planet which the greedy King used to make cities. It’s up to the King’s son, Prince Moo, to regain happiness to the planet Roo. Roogoo’s single player unfortunately doesn’t take too long to finish but thankfully there are a few features which will keep you going back for more. Firstly, there are the par times; each level contains a time which players should aim to beat. They only allow players to make very few mistakes and even at times none. Secondly, there is the accuracy level in which players aim to complete the level without losing any blocks. It’s a lot harder than it sounds but pulling it off is a huge relief. Accuracy is very important in Roogoo. Missing the correct hole for the block or having your block destroyed by an enemy sends Prince Moo racing towards the top. He is represented by a bar on the left hand side of the screen and when he reaches the top, its game over.
Personally, I feel that the online multiplayer lets the game down a bit because everytime I attempted to play online, there were no games available and when I hosted for a while, nobody joined. Thankfully, I was able to try out the offline multiplayer and found it enjoyable. The races and co-operative works well and are fun at the same time.
Graphic-wise, Roogoo has very typical graphics for an XBOX Live Arcade title; doesn’t look great but it does the job. The use of colour is great as earlier levels are full of bright, happy colours but as you advance through the single player, the levels become darker as you progress from space into the Earth’s core. The audio is also very average. The menu music fits in with the game’s theme well but it’s not very catchy, similar to the in-game sound effects also suiting the game. I would have liked to see a voiceover for the cutscenes in the game but the simple, easy-to-read text is a good addition and means a voiceover isn’t vital.
Overall, Roogoo is a very enjoyable game that will appeal to most puzzle fans, being one of the better puzzle games available from the XBOX Live Arcade. Despite the short single player, there is a lot more players can be doing such as improving on their scores and if you can, get a multiplayer game. The game’s longevity is fairly good for the 800 Microsoft Points price tag. If you enjoyed the trial, you will thoroughly enjoy the full game.