Kuru Kuru Kururin Hands-On

We've got a final Japanese version of the addictive spinning stick game, and sat down with it to see if anything's changed since we last played the game.

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Nintendo's spinning stick game, first shown back at Spaceworld 2000, hasn't changed a whole lot. Which means it's every bit as addictive as it was the first time we played it.

The storyline is as simple as it is unnecessary: Players take on the role of a cute little ducklike creature, who waddles along with a posse of other ducklike things. But when unknown forces kidnap the posse of ducklike things, the players must hop in their spinning flying machine and rescue the posse.

Kuru Kuru Kururin is level-based and puts players through tight corridors in line with games like Irritating Stick. Since the craft is constantly spinning, players have to carefully navigate the tight corridors, using wall-mounted springs to change the direction of rotation when needed. Hitting a wall adds three seconds to a player's final time and knocks one heart off his or her health meter. The object is to finish each level as quickly as possible. Additionally, players can race against ghosts from previous runs. Each level stores the top three times. As players progress from level to level, they pick up icons that let them customize their stick craft a bit, adding different colors and other little extras. Aside from the main mode, players can also play with up to four other players. The multiplayer mode works a lot like the ghost races, in that players can't actually hit their opponents' sticks.

While players wouldn't expect to find such a simple game so addictive and fun, Kuru Kuru Kururin is, at this point, the GBA's Tetris. The game isn't currently scheduled to be released in the US, but hopefully Nintendo will take a chance on this quirky little puzzler.

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