To put it simply, The Adventures of Cookie & Cream from Agetec is a game that deviates from the norm. While on the outside it may seem like a standard multiplayer party game, the new twists brought on by some completely original gameplay elements make this game an absolute blast to play.
As the story goes, Cookie and Cream are two bunnies who are on their way home on the night before their clan's yearly moon festival. This year, for some reason, the moon has decided to run away, and if Cookie and Cream aren't able to find it, there will never be another festival. Fearing this, the duo sets out to make sure that it doesn't come true. As a symbol of their courage, they are given two "crowns" to wear on their heads. Staying true to the slightly off-kilter style of the game, the crowns are in fact an umbrella and a flowerpot. While these headpieces have no effect on the game, they add to its cartoony feel.
What makes this game so interesting to play is the extreme amount of cooperation that it takes to complete each and every level. The bulk of the game is viewed from an overhead perspective on a split screen, with Cookie and Cream on either side. From here, it's a race against the clock to get to the end of the level, and there are many traps, doors, and puzzles along the way to slow your progress. You can add to your time by picking up the clocks strewn throughout the level. The clocks are a key part of the game, as each time you are hit by an enemy, time is deducted.
To successfully finish each level, you must work with your partner on the other side of the screen to reach the goal. For example, there may be a door barring you from moving any further in the level, but your counterpart will always have a switch or something similar available to use to allow you to progress. Each level moves along in a similar fashion, with the players helping one another along. In this game, there is truly no way to win if you don't work together.
The control scheme used in the game is very easy to grasp, as there are really only three things to keep track of. The analog sticks control character movement, and depending on the configuration used, your jump and use buttons are mapped to either the shoulder or face buttons. While your character can jump at any point throughout the game, the use button is only available when there is something immediately near your character, such as a switch that will open a door for your partner.
Cookie & Cream is best played as a two- or four-player game, as is the case with just about any party game. The two-player mode is pretty self-explanatory, as each player controls either Cookie or Cream. The four-player mode, on the other hand, makes matters more interesting by having two people control one character using the same controller. The idea seems strange at first, and it takes a little getting used to. In the end, it puts a new and exciting spin on the standard party game.
For those who don't happen to have a couple of extra friends around, the game also has a single-player mode that brings new meaning to the word challenging. When playing alone, you control both Cookie and Cream at the same time, using the same split-screen view. As you can imagine, the learning curve for controlling two characters at the same time is quite steep. Once you get over this initial hurdle, though, this mode provides a real challenge.
Fans of the competitive side of party games will also enjoy the versus mode in this game. The basic gameplay varies little from mode to mode in the game, except in the versus mode, where up to four players at once are all racing for the finish line. The main objective of the versus mode is to collect stars and moons and be the first across the finish line. At first, there are only two characters and one level available in the mode, but as you successfully complete levels and collect portrait pieces in story mode, more levels and playable characters become available. For four-player action, you once again find yourself sharing a controller with a friend, or if the up-close-and-personal approach isn't up your alley, there is also Multitap support, so each player can have his or her own controller.
As is the case with many games that have a heavy cartoonlike feel, the visuals are made up of simple, colorful character models and lush environments. Cookie and Cream fit perfectly into this mold, and they also work well for the purposes of this game. Fans of this visual style will definitely be pleased by the look and feel of the game. The music in Cookie & Cream has a comical and whimsical sound to it, which once again fits in perfectly with the rest of the game. On the whole, the game looks and sounds good but doesn't really try to do anything new and exciting.
In the end, The Adventures of Cookie & Cream is a great game to boot up when you have friends over, for the cooperative action or the frantic versus mode. Those who are looking for a challenge will find the single-player aspect of the game right up their alley. The Adventures of Cookie & Cream features a simple visual style and control scheme, accompanied by some fresh new gameplay ideas that make this game worth playing.