It seems fitting that Sega chose today, the 11th anniversary of the North American launch of the Dreamcast, to announce that one of that systems most popular and beloved titles ChuChu Rocket! would be coming to the iPhone and iPad. I was an avid Dreamcast gamer back during its heyday, but never actually got into playing ChuChu Rocket. After spending time playing the title today at Sega's iPhone Games Day, I realize what I was missing out on.

ChuChu Rocket! is a colorful J-style puzzle game where you must get a group of mice safely into their rocket ships while avoiding cats. The mice will brainlessly move forward on their own, and make a right turn when running into walls or barriers. You can place various up, down, left, and right arrows around the playfield in order to direct the mice towards the safety of their rockets. Cats behave similarly in how they march around the board, and if you happen to misdirect your mice into any of the cats you'll fail the level. There are limited numbers of arrows per level to direct your mice with, meaning you'll have to think ahead to find the best placement of each one to assure you get your mice to safety.

That's the basic gist of ChuChu Rocket! anyway, but there can be variations of this due to the different modes of play. The Puzzle Mode is the main part of the game, and offers 100 levels of trying to get your mice safely to their rockets. This mode isn't timed, and allows you to think through how to complete the level at your leisure. Then there is a Challenge Mode with 25 levels that each have a specific goal, like directing the mice into the cats rather than the rockets. This mode is timed, and you'll need to get a certain amount of the mice to their goal before time runs out.

Finally there's Multiplayer Mode, which I think has the possibility to really shine on the iPhone. ChuChu Rocket! was the first online capable game for the Dreamcast, back before it was a common feature in video games. Multiplayer is 1-4 players, and you can either join up in teams of two or play free for all style. The goal here is to get as many mice to your own rocket as possible, while using arrows to direct cats into players rockets in order to prevent them from gaining any mice. This mode can be played over WiFi, 3G, or Bluetooth, and if you can't find any friends to play with you can add bots to the game and play against the AI. There are 25 levels to battle on, and the game will be the first from Sega to utilize Apple's new Game Center social network.

ChuChu Rocket! was a total blast when I had a chance to play it today, and it makes me sad that I never tried out this title almost a decade ago. It seems like a perfect fit for the iPhone, with all of the original levels reworked to be touch screen friendly. Gamers have been begging Sega to bring ChuChu Rocket! out on a current platform for years, and finally they will get their wish on the iPhone and iPad. Both versions will be exactly the same except for the iPad version which will contain a same-device 4 player multiplayer mode. Expect to see ChuChu Rocket! sometime in late October.

  • http://www.mysite.com Rock

    YESSS!!!!! I loved this game back in the dreamcast dayz

  • http://www.mysite.com Rock

    YESSS!!!!! I loved this game back in the dreamcast dayz

  • Chocolate

    Thank the lord! Great game!!!

  • Chocolate

    Thank the lord! Great game!!!

  • weendex

    This might just be the greatest news I have ever heard. The only thing that could top this would be PSO on iPhone/iPad.

    • vinikun

      word man, word. PSO on iPad would change my life.

      • http://www.xs4all.nl/~ink/pso/ Incadenza

        PSO on the iPad would make buy an iPad.

  • weendex

    This might just be the greatest news I have ever heard. The only thing that could top this would be PSO on iPhone/iPad.

    • vinikun

      word man, word. PSO on iPad would change my life.

      • http://www.xs4all.nl/~ink/pso/ Incadenza

        PSO on the iPad would make buy an iPad.

  • skamando

    Great game and all, but that looks ugly as hell. I really hope they're revamping the graphics before they release that ugly POS.

    • Jared Nelson

      What you see is how it will be, but it definitely looks much better in motion.

    • Rollon

      Don't you dare. Chu Chu Rocket's looks are classic by now, they're distinctive which is one of the most important aspects you can have if you want your game to be memorable. They're not "next-gen" by any means, but they fit the game like a glove. If you don't like it, find something else.

    • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron

      I really like this game and played it for hours and hours on GBA.

      I also dislike the direction they took the revamped graphics, though. Hopefully, copious animated movements will lessen the gag reaction. The characters are just so ugly to me. I'd prefer the old pixel art or something cuter or just somehow more appealing.

      Look how cute the commercial hand-drawn characters are. Maybe they should have gone in that direction (thanks fafner for the link):
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ga62uiXbEjI

  • skamando

    Great game and all, but that looks ugly as hell. I really hope they're revamping the graphics before they release that ugly POS.

    • Jared Nelson

      What you see is how it will be, but it definitely looks much better in motion.

    • Rollon

      Don't you dare. Chu Chu Rocket's looks are classic by now, they're distinctive which is one of the most important aspects you can have if you want your game to be memorable. They're not "next-gen" by any means, but they fit the game like a glove. If you don't like it, find something else.

    • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron

      I really like this game and played it for hours and hours on GBA.

      I also dislike the direction they took the revamped graphics, though. Hopefully, copious animated movements will lessen the gag reaction. The characters are just so ugly to me. I'd prefer the old pixel art or something cuter or just somehow more appealing.

      Look how cute the commercial hand-drawn characters are. Maybe they should have gone in that direction (thanks fafner for the link):
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ga62uiXbEjI

  • WilhelmR

    Can't wait to see what the arrow-placing method will be, so far nothing beats the dreamcast controller buttons.. :)

  • WilhelmR

    Can't wait to see what the arrow-placing method will be, so far nothing beats the dreamcast controller buttons.. :)

  • Mister Mumbles

    Nice. I actually didn't play ChuChu Rocket on the Dreamcast I had either. Instead I ended up playing it on the GBA years later. It is indeed a very fun game, and I am most definitely looking forward to its appstore release.

  • Mister Mumbles

    Nice. I actually didn't play ChuChu Rocket on the Dreamcast I had either. Instead I ended up playing it on the GBA years later. It is indeed a very fun game, and I am most definitely looking forward to its appstore release.

  • Patrick

    How is this a "hands-on" article? You give absolutely zero details about the controls, which is what everybody wants to know about.

    • Jared Nelson

      You touch where you want to place an arrow, then swipe in the direction you want it to point (depending on which arrows you have available). Then you touch a button to start the mice, and touch it again to speed them up.

      And that's pretty much it.

      • hkiphone

        Did you get a chance to play multiplayer? That's where the REAL game lies, as things get mega frantic.
        One second, you could have the perfect lineup of mice streaming into your ship, and then one of the bonus mice suddenly reset everyone's ship to swap places.... all in the last few seconds... just one extra mouse is all it takes to win the round and break hearts (at the time, it was Dreamcast joypads)

        I really really really hope that the controls are absolutely perfect. :D

      • 1337brian

        Yep the multiplayer is insane! By far one of my favorite DC games next to Arcadia, Shenmue (Iphone needs), And of course the best ever Powerstone 2

  • Patrick

    How is this a "hands-on" article? You give absolutely zero details about the controls, which is what everybody wants to know about.

    • Jared Nelson

      You touch where you want to place an arrow, then swipe in the direction you want it to point (depending on which arrows you have available). Then you touch a button to start the mice, and touch it again to speed them up.

      And that's pretty much it.

      • hkiphone

        Did you get a chance to play multiplayer? That's where the REAL game lies, as things get mega frantic.
        One second, you could have the perfect lineup of mice streaming into your ship, and then one of the bonus mice suddenly reset everyone's ship to swap places.... all in the last few seconds... just one extra mouse is all it takes to win the round and break hearts (at the time, it was Dreamcast joypads)

        I really really really hope that the controls are absolutely perfect. :D

      • 1337brian

        Yep the multiplayer is insane! By far one of my favorite DC games next to Arcadia, Shenmue (Iphone needs), And of course the best ever Powerstone 2

  • fafner
    • Chocolate

      LOL! Awesome!

  • fafner
    • Chocolate

      LOL! Awesome!

  • Saberj

    Thank God the game is finally being re-released. I'm stoked. good thing I have an iPad. Hopefully it won't be delayed until Game Center is released on iPad.

  • Saberj

    Thank God the game is finally being re-released. I'm stoked. good thing I have an iPad. Hopefully it won't be delayed until Game Center is released on iPad.

  • spacecowgoesmoo

    Only 100 levels? The GBA version had around 2500 ;)

  • spacecowgoesmoo

    Only 100 levels? The GBA version had around 2500 ;)

  • Miffy

    YES! Always wanted this game for iPhone.

  • Miffy

    YES! Always wanted this game for iPhone.

  • Evan

    "ChuChu Rocket! is a colorful J-style puzzle game where you must get a group of cats safely into their rocket ships while avoiding cats."

    Cats avoiding cats? I think you may have meant "mice". ;)

    I'm excited for this game! I loved it on the Dreamcast!

    • Jared Nelson

      Haha, yeah. Been a long day :)

      Thanks for pointing that out.

  • http://makeshiftgames.com makeshift Tim

    Man, that game reminds me alot of Chuck the Ball...

    weird.

  • Evan

    "ChuChu Rocket! is a colorful J-style puzzle game where you must get a group of cats safely into their rocket ships while avoiding cats."

    Cats avoiding cats? I think you may have meant "mice". ;)

    I'm excited for this game! I loved it on the Dreamcast!

    • Jared Nelson

      Haha, yeah. Been a long day :)

      Thanks for pointing that out.

  • http://makeshiftgames.com makeshift Tim

    Man, that game reminds me alot of Chuck the Ball...

    weird.

  • http://www.utopiangames.co.uk Darren

    Ahhh the Dreamcast...fond memories of House of the dead, Sega Rally, Crazy Taxi and Chu Chu.

    Instant buy for me.

    Darren.

  • http://www.utopiangames.co.uk Darren

    Ahhh the Dreamcast...fond memories of House of the dead, Sega Rally, Crazy Taxi and Chu Chu.

    Instant buy for me.

    Darren.

  • ecco6t9

    Hopefully those missing GBA levels are future downloads.

  • ecco6t9

    Hopefully those missing GBA levels are future downloads.

  • Happy

    Can I just say..... FINALLY!

    Woooo! Can't wait :D

  • Happy

    Can I just say..... FINALLY!

    Woooo! Can't wait :D

  • Murbs

    Woo hoo! o/

  • Murbs

    Woo hoo! \o/

  • Mark

    Run Run Sheep in the store (has been for ages) has a similar game mechanic for the single player. No multi/wifi afaik.

  • Mark

    Run Run Sheep in the store (has been for ages) has a similar game mechanic for the single player. No multi/wifi afaik.

  • Yrogerg212

    That art style and color scheme is BLINDING...

  • Yrogerg212

    That art style and color scheme is BLINDING...

  • zack

    I like this trend of Dreamcast iPhone ports! Someone do ARMADA next!

  • zack

    I like this trend of Dreamcast iPhone ports! Someone do ARMADA next!

  • omg

    wow. looking forward to this. looks like a perfect game to port to touch screen.

  • omg

    wow. looking forward to this. looks like a perfect game to port to touch screen.

  • murph

    yes.yes.yes.yes.yes. been waiting forever for this to come to iPhone or XBLA.

  • murph

    yes.yes.yes.yes.yes. been waiting forever for this to come to iPhone or XBLA.

  • swarmster

    Did you confirm that these identical iPad/iPhone versions won't be sold in a universal app? Because that's what it sounds like.

    And as much as I love Sega and their Dreamcast games, that might mean I'll be getting neither. When presented with a difficult choice, the easy option is usually to just buy something else.

  • swarmster

    Did you confirm that these identical iPad/iPhone versions won't be sold in a universal app? Because that's what it sounds like.

    And as much as I love Sega and their Dreamcast games, that might mean I'll be getting neither. When presented with a difficult choice, the easy option is usually to just buy something else.

  • HipHopTouch

    A-MAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Made my weekend... now I'm going to go and look at myself in the mirror (the shame)

  • HipHopTouch

    A-MAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Made my weekend... now I'm going to go and look at myself in the mirror (the shame)

  • Jas

    Wow... can't wait. Tempted to dust off my old Dreamcast, as I still have the console and game :)

    Best bit above is: "Both versions will be exactly the same except for the iPad version which will contain a same-device 4 player multiplayer mode."

  • Jas

    Wow... can't wait. Tempted to dust off my old Dreamcast, as I still have the console and game :)

    Best bit above is: "Both versions will be exactly the same except for the iPad version which will contain a same-device 4 player multiplayer mode."

  • http://www.generationstarwars.com John Hood

    Day one purchase! I remember being sent this game for free, from Sega, in the UK.

  • http://www.generationstarwars.com John Hood

    Day one purchase! I remember being sent this game for free, from Sega, in the UK.

  • Kev

    This will be fun to check out. Though I was also a Dreamcast fan (actually a big Sega fan back when the put out their own consoles and had every one they released in the US except the Gamegear,) I missed this game at the time too.

    I agree with the first comment, it would be cool to see PSO on the iPhone. I tend to prefer playing solo and though I've tried others over the years, PSO was the only online console game I ever enjoyed. It was a blast before the hackers showed up and ruined it.

  • Kev

    This will be fun to check out. Though I was also a Dreamcast fan (actually a big Sega fan back when the put out their own consoles and had every one they released in the US except the Gamegear,) I missed this game at the time too.

    I agree with the first comment, it would be cool to see PSO on the iPhone. I tend to prefer playing solo and though I've tried others over the years, PSO was the only online console game I ever enjoyed. It was a blast before the hackers showed up and ruined it.

  • monster

    Awesome, been waiting and hoping this would be ported over. Might have to break out the Dreamcast while waiting for it though.

  • monster

    Awesome, been waiting and hoping this would be ported over. Might have to break out the Dreamcast while waiting for it though.

  • GDSage

    Just found this out. All I can say is "About damn time Sega".

    One of their best but also easily adapted (to other systems) IPs and yet Sega sat on it for all these years. Puzzling, to say the least. Hopefully with this release some brain cells will be knocked into Sega and their software department will start acting like it used to.

  • GDSage

    Just found this out. All I can say is "About damn time Sega".

    One of their best but also easily adapted (to other systems) IPs and yet Sega sat on it for all these years. Puzzling, to say the least. Hopefully with this release some brain cells will be knocked into Sega and their software department will start acting like it used to.

  • Frenchy

    "You can place various up, down, left, and right arrows"

    I wonder how you choose directions for arrows.

    • Mark

      You get set arrows. So you could get 3 UP and one LEFT and then you drag those into place. Different numbers and directions of arrows for each level.

  • Frenchy

    "You can place various up, down, left, and right arrows"

    I wonder how you choose directions for arrows.

    • Mark

      You get set arrows. So you could get 3 UP and one LEFT and then you drag those into place. Different numbers and directions of arrows for each level.

  • http://www.modchipstore.com R4

    Amazing!!!! One if my all time
    favorites for yeh dreamcast. I almost want to take it out of the closet just to hook it up and play this game!

  • http://www.modchipstore.com R4

    Amazing!!!! One if my all time
    favorites for yeh dreamcast. I almost want to take it out of the closet just to hook it up and play this game!

  • KGameLover1

    OMG YES!!!! Loved this game in the Dreamcast dayz.

  • KGameLover1

    OMG YES!!!! Loved this game in the Dreamcast dayz.

  • spiffyone

    YAAAAAY!!!!

    About friggin' time, Sega!

    There might be hope for Sega management yet. The creative side was NEVER really in question (anyone who says Sega games "suck", I point out Valkyria Chronicles, Viking, and Yakuza and say "WRONG!!"), but the business side always was, especially these last few years. Now, though, they're getting back on track.

    SEGA!

  • spiffyone

    YAAAAAY!!!!

    About friggin' time, Sega!

    There might be hope for Sega management yet. The creative side was NEVER really in question (anyone who says Sega games "suck", I point out Valkyria Chronicles, Viking, and Yakuza and say "WRONG!!"), but the business side always was, especially these last few years. Now, though, they're getting back on track.

    SEGA!