Saturday, 28 September 2013

Retro Review - Guru Logic Champ (GBA)

Time for some more Japanese insanity now with a ker-azy puzzler on the Gameboy Advance. Guru Logic Champ's rather generic title belies the quirky characters and lunacy contained within the game. Once you have been introduced to the zany duck-like 'Champs' that make up the main protagonists, you are treated to some bizarre cartoon cutscenes that tell a story of how other oddball duck things from another planet have come to wreak havoc - but it would appear their idea of havoc is simply causing mild irritations such as stealing the tap from a public water fountain, or the battery from someone's kitchen extractor fan. So, how can you help these unfortunate souls return their lives to normality? Why, by performing block based puzzles in order to reveal a small picture of course!

You have to place the blocks on the white spaces. Correctly placed blocks 
show up as blue, and incorrect ones as yellow with red cross.

Once you enter the main game (after navigating a world map), you are confronted with a familiar looking puzzle screen that resembles a mixture of Dr Mario, Picross, and any number of other puzzle games you will have played over the years. The aim is to put a set number of blocks in the correct spaces, thus completing an 'image' that resembles the one shown in a small window on the left side of the play area. The places that you need to put the blocks are helpfully displayed by whited out areas and you have the exact number of blocks needed to complete the image at your disposal - there is no wasting blocks here.

The cutscenes are utter nonsense - I love them!

Your two cannon-wielding duck minions move along the bottom of the screen and can fire or inhale (remove) the movable blocks on screen. You can rotate the screen 90 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise in order to fire blocks from all four possible angles. Placing the blocks in the right place is no easy task and will often require you to construct barriers in order to place a block in the correct position, before dismantling the barrier. It takes a little getting used to, but once it clicks you will soon be rotating and spitting out blocks at a rate of knots. As to be expected, the puzzles get gradually more complex as you progress, but the learning curve is set just right so you will be ready for the tougher challenges when they arrive.

Using the shoulder buttons, you can rotate the screen clockwise & 
counter-clockwise in order to fire your blocks to the right place.

The graphics are cartoony, silly, and really quite charming. I love the cute characters that inhabit the game - seeing the various critters doing mad dances to a breakbeat rave loop at the end of each level never gets old - and the cutscenes are as entertaining as they are ridiculous. Overall, Guru Logic Champ is an extremely quirky, fun and challenging puzzle game that will keep you smiling while also scratching your head and I would recommend it to anyone with a penchant for either puzzle games or slightly out-there Japanese games.

Best 'stage complete' screen ever!

Title : Guru Logic Champ
Developer : Compile
Year : 2001
System : Gameboy Advance (Japan only)