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Kuru Kuru Kururin

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Released: 2001

Genre: Puzzle

Format reviewed: Game Boy Advance

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Eighting

Submitted by: Phil Abel

Among the GBA’s Japanese and European launch titles was Kuru Kuru Kururin; a quirky maze game from Eighting which was incredibly frustrating yet fiercely addictive and loads of fun.

The premise of Kuru Kuru Kururin is a little odd but the game is actually very simple. The aim is to guide a little bird around a maze in a helicopter-like contraption called Helirin to find all of his lost friends. All you have to do is guide the constantly rotating stick representing Helirin around the mazes which make up the game’s colourful themed worlds without touching the sides. It’s a bit like those steady-hand games where you guide a hoop along a wire; except the hoop explodes and a bird dies if you make a mistake.

As easy as it is to get the hang of the basics, getting through the stages unscathed requires a great deal of timing and more importantly, patience. Of course, those of us without the latter attribute will find ourselves clattering off the walls and smashing our little bird friend’s helicopter into a million pieces, not to mention our GBAs. This game will frustrate you like nothing ever has before, but you’ll never get sick of it. There is a fantastically addictive quality to Kuru Kuru Kururin that will keep you coming back for more even after it makes you hurl the cartridge across the room.

The adventure mode is fun enough to be worth a few repeat plays, but as an extra incentive to revisit the game there is an eleventh world to unlock as well as additional challenge stages and custom Helirin shapes and colours to collect. For those who have friends and a link cable, there is also single cartridge multi-player.

Kuru Kuru Kururin is a little one-dimensional but it’s more than fun enough to compensate for this and with it being a handheld game we can afford to be even more lenient. It isn’t the most cerebral of games but it’s simple, charming and fun. Even on a platform with a lot of great puzzle games it’s still worth a look.