As a lover of time-management games and all things cute, I knew I had to get my hands on the new iOS Pucca game by Bigben Interactive, Noodle Rush. If you’re unfamiliar with the popular Pucca, she’s a 10-year old girl who is the niece of three noodle shop owners. Since Noodle Rush was the first Pucca game I had ever played, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect.
When I started the game, I was a bit shocked that it didn’t have me go into landscape mode. Instead I had a screen asking which language I wanted to select, with there being 10 to choose from. One immediate problem I saw was that, because the game isn’t landscape, all of the buttons are incredibly small. I have tiny hands, and because of that I have tiny fingers, but I was even worried that I would be pushing the wrong thing because they were really that small. Once I selected English, I reached the main menu that had a a few standard options to choose from, like if I wanted to start a new game or resume the one I was previously playing. Unfortunately, the small buttons were there again, and continued to be there while I set up my game.
Upon starting my noodle adventure I was presented with three difficulty modes to choose from: easy, medium, and hard. All difficulty levels have 50 stages, giving you a total of 150 to play through, and you can even have multiple saved games but with different names – nice feature, especially if you have somebody else who wants to play. Like most time-management games I was introduced to a short story that would set everything up, and I was a little surprised that there wasn’t a tutorial. When I’ve played similar games, the first level almost always tells the player what to do, or the order of things, but in Pucca Noodle Rush there was none of that. The only way I knew what I had to do was because I’ve played dozens of time-management games in the past, so for those who aren’t too familiar with the genre, they may find themselves a little frustrated.
Aside from the cutesy graphics and the music that could’ve been changed up a bit, the game started off simple. You seat diners, you take their order, serve their food, and put away the dishes. The true skill comes in remembering which characters are foes, which ones want to be seated near certain ones, which ones get miffed if others are served before them, and more. I did get a kick out of seeing Santa turn into a busboy for me if I gave him prompt service. Other characters, like Ssoso (that is not a typo) float away from their chair and you have to put them back in order to finish serving his table.
When playing through the 50 stages, there is no change of environment. With the money you earn you can’t change the decor, but you can purchase additional tables, table cloths, a few flowers, and then food upgrades to earn more money. I went with doing all of the main upgrades first, and then once I had a hefty sum amassed, I would purchase the food boost before every level, thus increasing my overall total. I think that the developers behind Pucca Noodle Rush really made a mistake in keeping the location the same simply because looking at the same environment for 50 levels becomes a bit tiring. The only way to upgrade Pucca is through a kiss from Garu, but you don’t get to choose which upgrade she gets; it is randomly decided for you. Sometimes the upgrades make Pucca move faster, allow her to hold more items in her hands, or toss objects across the room to expedite the process.
Despite the shortcomings of Pucca Noodle Rush, I found it to be very enjoyable and played through every single level. As I progressed through the game, the levels became more difficult and I welcomed the challenge. I think that the developers had a great idea, and while it wasn’t executed in a way that would’ve maximized the games overall potential, there is definitely room for improvement. Should there be a sequel to Pucca Noodle Rush, I’ll pick it up without hesitation but I sure hope that they make the game playable in landscape mode!
Pucca Noodle Rush is available now on the iTunes App Store for only $2.99 and is compatible with all iOS devices. Give it a download because it really is worth every penny. For more information on Bigben Interactive, check out their official website.