Quick pointer, if we are going to talk about this game, I should let you all know that when this game first came out, it came bundled with a twisty dial thing that you could use to play it with, kind of like the one they invented for Pong because this game is essentially a cross between Pong, Breakout and pretty much every other puzzle game ever. I never got that version because I didn’t fancy spending an extra fiver on a piece of equipment that looked as though it was likely to break between my fingers
Seriously, what the ever-loving crap is that even supposed to be? It looks like it was meant for a massage chair of some sort and to be honest, if you fancy rolling that kind of thing on your back, good luck to you but keep me away from it. Crisis averted, let’s move on and actually push-i some carat. Or something. There’s a joke there somewhere. The game’s called Puchi Carat. It’s pronounced Pushy Carrot. Look, make up your own jokes.
Another of the PS1’s late entries into the obscure ‘random-Japanese’ file of games, Puchi Carat is a puzzle game featuring a VERY 90s anime-style cast of characters and I say 90s because the style by then had gone from being stylistic and charming to sharp chins and ugly faces all over like someone stopped bothering to draw properly. All of these characters fit that badly animated mould and to be honest, it does the game no favours but if you ask me, and you must be asking because why else would I be writing this review of another game that no one else owns, the rest of the game doesn’t help matters.
PLOT PLOT PLOT TIME and for a puzzle game, you’ll be surprised to learn that there really is no plot to even speak of. I mean why would there be, it’s a fucking puzzle game? If you can think of a better story than the usual “WE ALL WANT SOME SORT OF TREASURE” then you’re doing a damn sight better than any developers have done. Seriously, aside from Professor Layton, why would any puzzle game – arcade style ones anyway – need a story other than SOLVE PUZZLES, GET TREASURE, FUCK OFF? Well, to be fair, there is a sort of story for each character but each one tends to involve wanting the treasure for a different reason and listing all of their reasons would be nigh-on pointless because basically, they all want treasure and you’re going to help them get it by loosening some gems on a gameboard until the other characters board is filled up and you KILL THEM.
OK so you don’t actually kill them. More’s the pity with this bunch of irritating misfit twats involved, Each character is named after a precious gem (Garnet, Peridot, Sapphire, etc), albeit some are weirdly loose (Rquo? C-Mond? By? The fuck?) and one of those is a strange rabbit thing with eyebrows. I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THE FUCK THIS THING IS:
Seriously? Anyone? Rabbit with eyebrows it is then!
All of them have a gem according to their names and if you win, you get to keep it and then you get to have the treasure or whatever, I don’t know I wasn’t even paying attention, there’s NO STORY, it’s a GIANT LIE and the developers should feel bad for making you think that there even is such a thing as a story in this stupid game. Seriously, it’s stupid and I feel stupid for playing it which is probably a bigger sin than just looking a bit ropey.
So we’re playing Breakout here and trying to be better at playing it than our opponents. Our opponents have other ideas about that though and they will TRY AND BETTER YOU AT EVERY TURN so we’re really into dangerous territory in terms of gameplay because it goes nowhere, doesn’t set the world on fire and basically plays as badly as it sounds and to be honest, if it did set the world on fire, we’d all be fucking terrified anyway so what the hell are we even doing thinking about that kind of stuff? I mean, who made up that saying anyway? Fucking hell, what are you trying to do to us all?
Look, Puchi Carat is NOT good. It’s an ambling mess of a game that throws one new idea into the bowl and then keels over and dies on itself because it’s not fun, it’s random and there’s a completely new set of skills involved in playing a game that would otherwise have just been an upside-down Tetris or a clone of Bust-A-Move 2 without the charm, fun or cute green and blue dinosaurs and no, not even cute green and blue dinosaurs could have saved this shambles from what it basically is: SHIT.
I’m not beating around the Buchi Carat here. The fact that there are no decent or original characters is proof that wishy-washy games like this won’t sell on genericness alone, regardless of whether it’s a cutesy puzzle game – not that cutesy puzzle games work even when they’re fucking amazing HINT HINT SUPER PUZZLE FIGHTER HINT HINT – and the fact that every other puzzle game sorta trounces this just by NOT being Puchi Carat is testament to those games being clearly defined ideas that WORKED and this just being random and poorly conceived. ‘Ooh, if we turned Breakout into a two-player game, how would that work’ said one developer obviously because he was being too polite; his colleague replying with a frosty ‘who the fuck wants a two-player breakout?’ and as such he was fired because that’s just mean. I’m just just guessing as to how that meeting went but if it didn’t go like that, it should have done because then we wouldn’t have to deal with this game being the piece of crap it is.
“You didn’t have to buy it” – no I didn’t but I did and I WAS WRONG BUT STILL. POINT STANDS.