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GameBoy Advance
Kururin Paradise

Kururin Paradise is the sequel to the GameBoy Advance puzzle game Kurukuru Kururin that was only released in Japan and Europe.
Sadly Kururin Paradise did not even receive a European release.

The goal of the game is to guide a spinning stick through a maze as fast as possible while not hitting any obstacles. Sounds very simple and it really is, in theory.... The game starts of pretty simple but gets challenging pretty quickly. You start off with 5 training stages to teach the basic techniques. Holding down the A or B button lets you move the stick faster, while pressing them both will make you move even faster than that. You can also make the stick spin faster by holding the R button. This wasn't possible in the first game.


You are Kururin, a little blue bird with curly hair. Your brothers and sisters have been kidnapped by an evil magician and it's up to you to go and rescue them in your special helicopter called a "Helirin". The levels are much more detailed and varied than in Kurukuru Kururin. It's amazing to see how much the atmosphere varies from level to level. The graphics are very colourful and just about everything is animated, in the background as well as on the playing field.

Like I said before, the basic objective is to reach the goal of each level as quick as possible. You get there by avoiding slamming into walls, pistons, spiked canon balls, swirling blades, and basically everything else the game throws at you. And believe me, there will be lots of things that will make your path a hazardous one. The catch is you only have 2 or 3 hearts, depending on which mode you play in. If you hit anything, not only will there be 3 seconds added to your game clock, you will also lose a hart. When all hearts are gone it's GAME OVER. You can replenish your harts by entering a Check Point, these are the big pulsating, kaleidoscopic harts.

The level structure is not as straightforward as it was in the first game. In certain levels there are keys to be found, these are mostly tucked away in a corner of the level. If you manage to get one and finish the level with it, a door will be unlocked in another level. So you get to revisit older levels again and discover new paths in them which lead to other sections of the game world.

Throughout the world there are 15 magical hats to be found, some of which lie on your path, others have to be reached by collecting certain keys and beating the levels between them. Each hat reveals a different minigame which has to be completed in Adventure Mode to be unlocked Challenge Mode. These mini games vary greatly. Some examples are:


ChuChu Panic: Here you have to hit as many pink or blue mice with your Helirin within a time limit. But be careful, blue mice drop bombs to stop your progress.

Smash Force: A 4 player variation on Pong where you have to hit the balls into the net of your opponents by spinning the stick left or right. The ball remains the same colour of the last player who touched it. When entering a goal, that player then receives the points.

In The Sky: A side scrolling obstacle course where you have to fly with the little bird between spinning rods and sparks to try and reach the goal as quick as possible. It controls a bit like Joust, but without the jousting. :)

Twin Hopper: You have to cross a street where spinning rods are flying by at different speeds. Jumping over them as they are about to hit you.
Problem is that you have 2 birds crossing the street at the same time and no way of controlling them besides letting them jump by pressing L for bird number1 and R for bird number2.

Gras Cutter: This is one of my favourites. Here you have to mow the lawn with your Helirin. You can increase the size of your blades by holding A or B. There are trees and rocks in the yard which have to be avoided, the same goes for the fence. The clock stops when all the grass has been cut.


From the main menu page you can select: Adventure, Practice, Challenge and Magic. As if the full-sized Adventure mode, coupled with the Practice Mode where you can go for the adventure levels high scores weren't enough, Challenge Mode offers you another batch of completely original puzzle levels. Again ranging from very easy to almost impossible. Couple this with with all the included mini games, which could more or less count for a game by themselves and you do not only get quality but also quantity for your money.

The last option is Magic, which consists of a bunch of oddities, from optical illusions, to simple magic tricks and very small games.

It's not easy to catalogue this game, as the very concept is so offbeat and unique. It's not a conventional puzzle game.

But it does have that same addictiveness to it. Trying to beat your high scores and completing levels flawlessly will soon become an obsession, consuming many hours of your life as you try to shave those milliseconds off the best scores.

Kururin Paradise has that pick up and play mentality, but somehow manages to also keep you playing for hours on end.

Andy De Wilde

Japanese - English