Baku Baku Animal
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|Baku Baku Animal|
|Platform(s)||Arcade, Saturn, Game Gear, Windows, Master System, mobile phones|
April 1996 (Sega Saturn)
1996 (Sega Game Gear)
1996 (Windows 95)
1996 (Sega Master System)
2002 (mobile phone)
|Arcade system||Sega Titan Video (STV)|
|Display||Raster, 704 × 513 pixels, 6144 colors|
Baku Baku Animal (ばくばくアニマル Baku Baku Animaru) is a falling block puzzle arcade game released by Sega in 1995. Outside Japan, the game was released as simply Baku Baku, though the media still commonly referred to it as Baku Baku Animal. The game is dedicated as Sega's first ever Network Compatible PC Game. A Sega NetLink compatible version of the game was also announced, but never released.
"Baku Baku" roughly translates to "Chomp Chomp".
The player must line up falling blocks of animals and foodstuffs. When an animal is aligned adjacent to a tile of its favored food, the animal eats the food. Larger groups of connected food of the same type scores higher when eaten.
When animals eat foodstuffs, they also make random blocks fall on the opponent's area, right after the currently falling blocks. The object of the game is to make one's opponent unable to place more blocks.
The Saturn version was met with critical acclaim upon release, with Maximum calling it "the best 'next generation' puzzle game we've seen to date", Sega Saturn Magazine "some of the most addictive puzzle play since Tetris", GameSpot "a must own" for "Saturn owners who have even a remote interest in puzzle games", and GamePro "undeniably the best puzzle game in the world so far." Critics lauded the addictive gameplay, especially in two-player competitive mode, but the ludicrously cute graphics and sounds were met with general approval as well.
Reviewing the Game Gear version, the four reviewers of Electronic Gaming Monthly commented that the gameplay concept of Baku Baku Animal is simple and accessible, yet has enough strategic possibilities to engage even veteran players. Andrew Baran summarized it as "non-threatening fun anyone can enjoy".
Baku Baku won Computer Gaming World's 1996 "Classic/Puzzle Game of the Year" award. The editors wrote, "The beauty of this game [...] lies in its ability to suck you in and keep you coming back for more and more. If you haven't already tried it, beware: Baku Baku will eat up your time." It was a finalist for the Computer Game Developers Conference's 1996 "Best Trivia or Puzzle Game" Spotlight Award, but lost the prize to You Don't Know Jack XL. Electronic Gaming Monthly named the Game Gear version a runner up for "Hand-Held Game of the Year" and the Saturn version a runner up for "Puzzle Game of the Year" (beaten in both cases by Tetris Attack).
Baku Baku Animal was named the 72nd best computer game ever by PC Gamer UK in 1997.
A white label 12 inch EP consisting entirely of dance tracks using sound effects from Baku Baku Animal, recorded by The Dream Team and Timebase for the Suburban Base label, was circulated to disc jockeys in 1996.
- Leadbetter, Rich (March 1997). "Rage Hard!". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 17. Emap International Limited. pp. 46–49.
- Buchanan, Levi (2003-04-28). "Baku Baku: Who would have thought being a fricking zoo keeper would be so addictive?". IGN. Retrieved 2013-04-03.
- "Sega Entertainment Unveils its First Network-Compatible PC game". Sega. 1997-03-27. Archived from the original on 1997-03-27. Retrieved 2017-04-03.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
- "Sega and Sony Prepare for Nintendo 64". Next Generation. No. 20. Imagine Media. August 1996. pp. 16–17.
- "ProReview: Baku Baku Animal". GamePro. No. 93. IDG. June 1996. p. 64.
- "Review Crew: Baku Baku Animal". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 83. Sendai Publishing. June 1996. p. 28.
- Gerstmann, Jeff (December 1, 1996). "Baku Baku Review". GameSpot. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
- "Maximum Reviews: Baku Baku Animal". Maximum: The Video Game Magazine. No. 4. Emap International Limited. 1996. p. 139.
- "Every Sega Saturn Game Played, Reviewed, and Rated". Next Generation. No. 25. Imagine Media. January 1997. p. 63.
- Hickman, Sam (March 1996). "Review: Baku Baku Animal". Sega Saturn Magazine. No. 5. Emap International Limited. pp. 74–75.
- Staff (May 1997). "The Computer Gaming World 1997 Premier Awards". Computer Gaming World (154): 68–70, 72, 74, 76, 78, 80.
- Staff (April 15, 1997). "And the Nominees Are..." Next Generation. Archived from the original on 1997-06-05. Retrieved 2018-11-01.
- "Spotlight Awards Winners Announced for Best Computer Games of 1996" (Press release). Santa Clara, California: Game Developers Conference. April 28, 1997. Archived from the original on July 3, 2011.
- "The Best of '96". Electronic Gaming Monthly. No. 92. Ziff Davis. March 1997. pp. 86, 88.
- Flynn, James; Owen, Steve; Pierce, Matthew; Davis, Jonathan; Longhurst, Richard (July 1997). "The PC Gamer Top 100". PC Gamer UK (45): 51–83.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
- "The Future Sound of Game Music". Next Generation. No. 24. Imagine Media. December 1996. p. 88.