Pucca Noodle Rush iPhone app review

A someone who has played Get a Better Lover and Go Densha Go! I’m sure you can build a game around most things. But being a waitress? Even I was a little sceptical. But as I watched a whole weekend disappear to Game Dev Story, an engrossing game that simulates people sitting in an office making computer games I was prepared to give Pucca noodle rush a chance.

Pucca-Noodle-Rush

If you don’t know Pucca (and take a look at the screenshot above – she should seem pretty familiar) she is the 10-year old niece of three Chinese noodle house owners … and also the face of a multimillion dollar cross platform franchise, originally from South Korea and featured on lunch boxes, pencil cases, tv shows, bill boards and now iPhone apps (and a Wii game which we’ll be reviewing next week hopefully).

The game plot revolves around Pucca trying to save her uncle’s noodle restaurant when a tough rival opens up across the street. You control Pucca who is in charge of customer service, which means seating customers, taking orders, serving up, clearing tables, pocketing the cash and of course chasing away the ninjas hired by meddlesome rivals. Like any time management game, there are numerous split second decisions to make when seating customers: prioritise friends, loyal customers, and take rivalries and thorny personalities into account to avoid trouble.

A host of familiar characters from the Pucca-verse, including Abio, Chang, Ssoso and of course Garu (if you enjoy playing with the game, I’d spend ten minutes boning up on the Pucca-verse) will show their faces along the way, either to lend you a helping hand or to try to throw a spanner in the works.

Seating people, taking their order and collecting their empty dishes is the crux of the game and once you give over to the charming silliness, it’s a cute distraction that is deserving of your £1.79 – especially if you are a Pucca fan.

***Update***
The Pucca app price has just been slashed to 59p. So if you are keen then jump on it.

I am of course, waiting for the game about reviewing iphone apps. Guaranteed 10/10.

Sony NGP preview round up: Bringing the “kitchen sink to the console wars”

PC World quite wittily describes Sony’s “next-generation portable” – codenamed the NGP – as bringing “the kitchen sink to the console wars”, meaning the console has got every type of gaming input possible. Whilst Ars Technica’s account of Sony’s new portable console, contains a little less sarcasm, being described as being “packed with technology and features, matching the power of the Playstation 3.” CNET’s first impression of the highly anticipated portable console is that it, “looks like a great handheld console, thanks to its powerful and innovative hardware system.” Whilst Engadget’s somewhat more neutral and dispassionate analysis, revolves mostly around the NGP’s five key concepts: Revolutionary User Interface, Social Connectivity, Location-based Entertainment, Converging Real and Virtual (augmented) Reality.

Sony-NGP

Whatever the description, flicking from one technology site to another, there is no escaping a review of the Sony NGP, after all 2011 is dubbed to become a huge year for mobile gaming, not only through the continued explosion in gaming apps for the Android and iPhone, but also due to the arrival of two new handheld consoles – the Sony NGP and the Nintendo 3DS.

The specs remain a constant feature in the outburst of NGP reviews exploding onto the technology critics’ front pages at present, namely that the console will come equipped with a 5” screen, a touchpad at the back of the device, front and rear facing cameras and two micro-analog sticks to stimulate the DualShock experience.

Somewhat predictably there are a handful of comparative accounts occupying several of the technology publication’s pages, intensely scrutinizing the similarities and differences between the NGP and the Playstation Portable. One difference favourable to the NGP, picked out by Ars Technica, is the fact that Sony takes advantage of the flash memory feature, by basing its games on a small flash memory based card. According to Sony:

“this innovative card can store the full software titles plus add-on game content or game save data directly on to the card. Ars Technica describe Sony placing its games on a memory card as a “wise move: memory is inexpensive, and the optical drive sapped the Playstation Portable’s battery.”

The one point that remains consistent throughout the many reviews and critiques of the Sony NGP, is not what Sony have divulged about the new portable gaming console, but what the company have not revealed. No price has been announced, arguably one of the hunted pieces of information sought by an eagerly awaiting public. Besides the exclusion of even a hint of what the NGP is likely to cost, no specific date has been given to when the NGP will be released, other than, as Engadget asserts, “available this holiday season”. But which holiday season, we all cry!