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Project Rub (NDS)

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Project Rub
Game: Project Rub
Platform: NDS
Genre: Action/minigames
Developer: Sega
Publisher: Sega

Project Rub NDS Screenshot 1Project Rub is a… Well… It’s a collection of various minigames that are controlled by using the stylus on the touchscreen or by use of the built in microphone of the NDS.
It is pretty hard to actually put Project Rub into a certain category. It’s kind of unique. The graphical style is very minimalistic and will not appeal to everyone and the minigames that the game is built on are very divergent.

The good

Project Rub NDS Screenshot 2The graphics of this game are awsome! It surely won’t appeal to everyone, but I love the overall minimalistic style of the graphics. They may be minimalistic, but they surely don’t lack any detail; all of the characters in the game are easely distinguished from eachother despite their silouette only design.
The graphical style really fits in with the game’s overall style and realistic graphics would be way out of their place here. The game features comic-like storyboard sequences which aren’t animated, but look really funny and act as a short introduction of the minigame to come, after that you’ll find yourself in the briefingroom of the Rub Rabbits Performance Troupe where the goal of the next minigame is explained and where is also told how to control the next minigame.
The ingame graphics are as simple and minimalistic as the menu/storyboard/briefingroom graphics. It may all appear 2D at first, but you will soon notice that the characters and other onscreen actors are actually 3D models. The animation of the models is very good and looks really convincing. For example the response of the girl when you touch her on the wrong spot, she’ll flinch and make some twitchy move so you know you were doing something wrong.

Project Rub NDS Screenshot 3But this game isn’t all about rubbing a girl; you have to guide a few goldfish out of someones stomach, ride a unicycle over a very small bridge on to the other building, escape from the stomach of a huge snake, defeat a stampede of raging bulls and so on and so on. There is great variety between the various minigames and you won’t be doing the same thing for more than 5 minutes, unless you fail the same one over and over again, but whenever you get into a minigame and know how it works you’ll beat it and you won’t be stuck with doing the same thing over and over again.

Another funny feature is that you can customize your girl. In the beginning you have no other options than the default layout, but you can unlock other clothes, haircuts and shoes during the game, so the girl won’t have to walk around in her default summer dress all of the time.

Sometimes there are even boss battles where you have to “fight” a “boss”. You can’t really speak of fight, it’s all about the rubbing right? A boss may require you to hit a certain amount of raging bulls and avoid skiing humans, or you drive a car with a huge catapult on it, drive over people and lob them onto the enemy’s car. And all this is done using the touchscreen.
Some minigames even use the microphone, like one where you are floating around in a small sailboat together with the girl and she falls off. Here you have to blow into the microphone to push the boat forward to be able to reach the girl and avoid the big bad shark.

The soundtrack is also a nice asset of this game. The music is good, it’s sounds funny and fits perfectly with the style of the rest of the game. The soundeffects are also good; rubbing sounds, pushing sounds, falling sounds, screaming people, engine sounds for cars, woohoo sounds from the rabbits. They all serve their own purpose and they do a good job at that.

At the end of each minigame, whether you win or lose you’ll get to see an animation. When you win, points will be added to the love-heart in the middle and both you and the girl will jump of joy. If you lose, points will be retracted from the love-heart and you as well as the girl will give some disapointed gesture.

Project Rub NDS Screenshot 4When you get to the 4th level of a minigame, a breaktime animation will be shown. This kind of distracts you from the game you are playing, but it is also a few seconds to relax and maybe laugh to the animations shown. After this, the minigame will continue and will ultimatly be tougher than it was before the break.

The bad

As I said before, the style of this game won’t appeal to everyone, but to say that that is really a bad thing goes a bit too far in my humble opinion. My guess is that most of the NDS fanatics will like this game, because of it’s unique style.

The minigames won’t entertain you for a prolonged period of time. I mean, the minigames are short, there isn’t any real playing rythm in the game and when playing for a longer time you’ll get easely distracted and lose concentration resulting in losing the minigames which can result in frustration.

The bottom line

There aren’t any more bad points to be named from my side…

Allthough Project Rub is one of those games that are only liked by a few, I still say this is a must-have for any NDS owner. It’s unique and great fun and it’s great to serve as a timekiller to fill up those waiting minutes during the day.

I’ll give this one a good 9/10, 10/10 is only for the perfect game, which is, up till now, nonexistant and will probably never be created.

…End of line.

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