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Baku Baku (1996)      

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Details (Sega Game Gear) Supported platforms Artwork and Media
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Minato Giken, Kenichi Iwanaga, Noboru Honda, Tsutomu Morishita, Hiroko Kato
Masahiro Ito
(built-in D-pad)
USA, Europe, Japan

Sega Game Gear

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Your Reviews

(Anonymous) (Unknown)   27th Mar 2012 05:42

"A strong puzzle game in the Tetris Attack form"

Baku Baku Animal does for the Sega Gamegear what Tetris Attack has done for Nintendo systems in supplying the system with a “garbage dumping” puzzle game. The superficial outer layers are designed in a new, original way, as well, thankfully putting an end to the drab “star and circle” blocks that adorned TA (and Pokemon Puzzle League, which was just TA anyhow).

In Baku Baku Animal, square blocks fall from the ceiling, each with either a particular animal on them, or a food that one of the animals enjoys devouring. Instead of lining up three like-colored icons, one drops an animal block onto or adjacent to the food it typically eats (or vice versa—slam down a food block next to or on top of an animal).

This creates the same effect as any other ‘garbage’ puzzle games: the two icons disappear, and any other items resting on top of them drop. This creates the potential of creating combinations of block eliminations. A single “move” doesn’t have to end with your dropping a carrot onto the rabbit’s head—it could lead to further reactions: dogs falling in range of bones, bananas toppling down next to a hungry monkey, and so on.

Obviously, creating such complicated chains is going to feel like a matter of luck at first, because, like the other ‘garbage’ puzzle games mentioned, quite a bit of practice is required if one expects to get the most out of the game. It’s not hard to plop some leaves down next to the panda bear, but creating a reaction that ends three or four ‘moves’ later is much more a matter of skill and precision planning.

While Baku Baku Animal would be most interesting under the scrutiny of two players in a duel, the one-player game is a suitable experience that provides essential practice opportunity. There is a “story” and “dialogue” prior to each match against the computer-controlled players, they are hardly relevant (or even sensible). All I know is that you play as some 9-year-old blonde girl. I don’t ask.

Your “tube” (the play area where blocks fall) takes up the majority of the screen, while you can keep an eye on the computer’s progress with a mini-screen of their game in the lower corner. As you create reactions that eliminate more and more of your own blocks, extra junk blocks are dumped onto your opponent, giving them more to deal with. A match ends in classic Tetris fashion—when someone’s screen is overfilled with animals and stocks of food.

Even the earliest challengers in the one-player quest can seem overly tough at first, but once you’ve gotten a feel for the play, things will begin to move more smoothly. The important thing is to be aware of potential combination setups, but be more focused on the short-run—if you’re collapsing under the pressure, simply try digging yourself out with quick one or two-sequence chains instead of looking for the big score.

The superficial qualities aren’t much worth discussing, since graphically all that happens are short “cut scenes” and falling blocks with depictions of animals and vegetables. The music is also the stereotypical fairly-land fluff, but is hardly noticeable considering how carefully each in-game move should be considered.

Baku Baku Animal is certainly addicting, and quite a challenge that demands your concentration from the start. It’s a super two-player game, and an appropriate one-man mind-bender.

Reviewer's Score: 8/10, Originally Posted: 04/26/03, Updated 04/26/03

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This title was first added on 3rd May 2006
This title was most recently updated on 27th March 2012

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