In some ways it feels like Chuck E. Cheese's Arcade Room was designed just for me. As a creepy-looking thirtysomething year old dude, it's not easy for me to have fun at my local Chuck E. Cheese's location. No matter what I wear or how much I grin, I'm going to look like a pervert. Now I finally have an opportunity to play Chuck's greatest hits on my Nintendo DS without having the police called on me. And best of all, I don't have to eat the pizza!
If this brand new DSiWare game is any indication, then I haven't been missing much by avoiding the Chuck E. Cheese's. For a mere five dollars you're given a total of five mediocre mini-games. Don't look for the germ-infected ball pit here, because this Arcade Room is about getting high scores and collecting tickets.
Up first we have Smash A Munch, Chuck's very own spin on Whac-A-Mole. Here you use the stylus to hammer down any Mr. Munch heads that pop up. There's little strategy involved here, it's just a sight test where players are forced to compete with the increasing speed and difficulty. Hammer enough Munches in a row and you'll earn extra points, miss too many times and you won't earn very many tickets.
Speaking of Mr. Munch, did you know that he also has a shooting gallery? Mr. Munch Target Practice has you throwing darts at moving targets. There are three levels of items speeding by, each full of dollar amounts and obstacles to avoid. You only have a few seconds to collect as many points, so look for the high dollar amounts and avoid Munch's ugly mug.
Up next is Basketball, which is, well, basketball. Apparently Mr. Munch couldn't come up with a clever name for this arcade game. It would have taken him two, maybe three seconds to think up something wittier than Basketball, but instead they didn't even try. That's the spirit of this mini-game, which sees players throwing basketballs into a hoop before time runs out. You've seen this in the arcades before, it's a game of speed and precision. Of course, on the DS all you're doing is sliding the stylus up the screen hoping for the best.
Do you like Skee Ball? Chuck hopes so, because he has a direct rip-off called Alley Roller. Here you toss balls into holes, just like Skee Ball. The harder the hole, the more points it's worth. You know, just like Skee Ball. In fact, the only thing about this game that is different from Skee Ball is the name.
Last but not least, Jasper Racer is here to befuddle you. This is the only video game in the arcade, and even then it's not much. Jasper Racer features an overhead motorist who is forced to avoid puddles, oil spills and other obstacles. In other words, it's a lot like Spy Hunter without the guns, enemies, spies and hunting.
Chuck E. Cheese's Arcade Room is a painful collection of four mediocre mini-games and an out of place racer. The dated graphics and questionable design decisions aren't helping anything. With only two easy modes, players will see everything there is to see within a half hour. At least you don't have to eat the pizza!
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!