I am a sucker for time management games, and popular Japanese culture. In Pucca Noodle Rush these two are combined into one spicy noodle soup. Pucca is a character developed by South Korean Vooz Co, but the story is set to Japan. Pucca is a ten year old girl who has been given the opportunity to serve in a noodle house. A large part of the cast found in the comics is also taking part in the game. They all have their own characteristics, and affect the gameplay significantly as patrons. I am intrigued, and want to watch some of the animated series if it becomes available in Sweden. Pucca might be the next Hello Kitty when it comes to establishing a global franchise with games, fashion and accessories.
The game is played in portrait mode unlike most other time management games for the iOS devices. Gameplay is divided into only a few actions. Customer appear at the entrance, and you drag them to an empty table. They look at the menu, and you tap to take their order to the counter. Food is produced automatically by the noodle chef, and you tap to serve the table. Once they have consumed their lovely food you tap to take care of the dishes, and get paid. That means that for each table you drag once, and tap six times to complete the service. There is no queue system to the actions, and that means there is little room to plan ahead. To me this is a flaw found in quite a few time management games lately. Without a queue system there isn’t a matter of time management, but rather a matter of quick reactions.
What makes Pucca Noodle Rush unique is the customers. You have to keep them happy to get some extra help. Santa for example helps clearing away dishes if you have pleased him. Each time you start the game you will get a short text telling you about the special characters, and their individual needs. I have not found a way to remove this text, and after 40 or so levels it gets annoying to have it each time I start up the game. Actually I have yet to find a pause button, or an option menu at all.
There are 50 levels in the story mode, and beside that you have a quick play mode. The story mode starts off excruciatingly slow with the first 10-15 levels being beyond boring due to being so darn simple. Between level 16-35 you get more challenge, and there is actually the possibility to fail a level. Failing is often due to not getting rid off the attacking ninjas when Garu is trying to eat in peace. Level 36-50 is yet again quite simple due to having too easy goals to reach. As you get to upgrade the restaurant between levels you should have it all maxed out around level 35. With all the upgrades it gets hard not to beat levels, as you gain money by just having the customers sit down.
There is no way to go back and replay individual levels, and once the story mode is over there isn’t anything interesting left to do. There are no achievements, and no online leaderboards at all. This means that you get about 90 minutes of fun between level 16-35 after having some 30 minutes of boring introduction levels.
The presentation in Pucca Noodle Rush is cool, unique and cute. It isn’t high quality graphics, but like other games of the genre the graphics is functional. Even though everything is rather small on the screen the controls are responsive. The music is fast paced music from the world of Pucca. You can’t play your own music even after trying to override using a headset.
I have had both been extremely bored, and quite satisfied with the gameplay found in Pucca Noodle Rush. A slow start, and easy end to the story mode can’t really take away the fun well paced middle section. The time management genre is tough to enter, and the likes of Flo and Sally still reign supreme. I still think there is reason for time management fans to get Pucca Noodle Rush. It has a unique setting, and having distinct personalities affecting the gameplay is fun. There is a need for a ton of improvements to make it a recommendation to those outside the time management fan base.
Pucca Noodle Rush $2.99
Seller: Bigben Interactice/Vooz Co., Ltd