reviews\ Feb 3, 2004 at 7:00 pm

Rocket Mania Deluxe - PN - Review

Let’s face it … gamers looking for addictive game titles have a lot to choose from these days. Everything from Tetris style games to word jumbles to online slot machines can be found and played for hours on end, and sometimes it’s hard to find that “next best thing” in the downloadable gaming world. Well, Pop Cap Games has recently released a new puzzler to tickle your brain and “light your fuse”, so to speak, and it provides a lot of fun, addictive gameplay that will keep you coming back over and over again for more. The name of this new title that will drain hours of your life away is called Rocket Mania Deluxe.


Rocket Mania Deluxe can be looked at as a cross somewhere between Tetris meets Pipefitter, but to simply think of it that way won’t do it justice. Basically, the object is to flip a variety of tiles with 90 degree angles, four and three way connections, and straight horizontal / vertical lines in order to form a line to fuses that are lit on the left hand side of the play field. The pictures on the tile represent parts of a fuse, and on the right hand side of the field lie the rockets that you are trying to launch by connecting the tile patterns to form a straight connection from the fuse to the fireworks. In doing so, you can launch one rocket up or try to connect multiple fuse endings together on the right to fire off multiple rockets, and by shooting off more than one you get bonus coins or matches (depending on which mode you are playing which I will get to in a minute) and a better rating at the end of the stage. The Tetris style comes in only in one mode of the game and also in the fact that all used fuse tiles, whether attached to a rocket or not that get lit up, disappear and are replaced by new ones.


There are three different game modes to select from in Rocket Mania Deluxe, the first of which is the Classic mode. This has you trying to fire off a certain number of rockets before dawn hits as lanterns at the top of the screen slowly burn out. The second mode of play is Arcade, which is where some Tetris influence comes into play. As you sit trying to plan out your strategy, tiles will continue to fall from the screen and you must scoot them around in lines and twist them into a fit to try and clear them out since if the screen fills up … it’s game over. The third mode of play is the Strategy mode, and in this one you play for as many points as you can get with only a certain number of matches that you are allowed to get. The trick here is to strategically try and launch three or more rockets at the same time since doing so will award you extra matches which means you get to play longer. All three modes are fun and will keep you glued in for long periods of time, and each one also contains three different difficulty settings to help everyone from the novice to the advanced player have a good time.


One thing that stood out to me in particular with Rocket Mania Deluxe is the fact that the game does a great job of the challenge level as you progress. Sometimes games like this tend to be somewhat easy all the way into level 10 or so, but Rocket Mania Deluxe does a great job of gradually increasing the level of difficulty as you progress through the stages so that you won’t get bored with it. The really great news is that it manages to do so without being frustrating either, which of course is a good reason to keep going back and trying it over and over again.


Graphically, Rocket Mania Deluxe is presented in bright, bold colors and some fun animations like a friendly Chinese Dragon who cheers you on and breathes fire out to clear the screen and start the next round. The firework displays at the top of the screen also looked good and were well lit, and get more spectacular the more rockets you fire off at one time. In the sound department, Rocket Mania Deluxe also does a good job of providing an interesting and fun Eastern style soundtrack, some decent voiceovers, and some little extra things like crowd “Ooh’s” and “Ahh’s” as you set off large displays of colorful explosions.


As I stated before, there are a lot of fun and addictive downloadable games on the internet. Rocket Mania Deluxe does a great job in providing all of the fun and addictive qualities of a great downloadable title in a fun, unique and new presentation that will provide tons of enjoyment for all ages in your household. If you enjoy puzzle games, definitely check this one out.    


Gameplay: 9.1
Rocket Mania Deluxe is one of those great games that provides a simple gameplay point and click setup that takes seconds to figure out but hours to even try and come close to mastering. The three modes of play were a lot of fun, and provide enough entertainment to keep you coming back over and over again.


Graphics: 9.1
The graphic presentation is bold, very colorful and clear, and the lighting effects from fire and fireworks looked really, really good. The animated dragon also looked really cute and cartoony, and my 4 year old would sit and laugh at me playing it and had a ball watching the smiling dragon seeming to cheer me on or firing up the screen for the next round.


Sound: 9.0
The soundtrack was done very well, and the tunes had a good Eastern flare to them and were actually pretty catchy. The voiceover was also well done, and little effects like an awestruck crowd and the firework chains going off did a great job.


Difficulty: Medium
Due to the variation in difficulty level settings, the game can be harder or easier depending on what you want to set it as. Either way, the difficulty progression was solid and moved at a good pace, which was one of the highlights for me personally while I was playing it.


Concept: 9.1
There are lots of puzzle games out, and in this day and age it’s kind of hard to find something new. Rocket Mania Deluxe does just that in taking just light fun elements of some other titles but providing a unique and enjoyable game.


Overall: 9.2
If you’re looking for an addictive puzzle game, look no further. Rocket Mania Deluxe provides something that is easy to pick up and get into, but will keep you addicted and entertained for hours. If you like puzzle games and are looking for a great title to download for your collection, definitely plan on checking this one out.



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