Rocket: Robot on Wheels
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|Rocket: Robot on Wheels|
North American Nintendo 64 box art
|Developer(s)||Sucker Punch Productions|
|Release date(s)||NA October 31, 1999
EU December 17, 1999
Rocket: Robot on Wheels is a 1999 platformer video game developed by Sucker Punch Productions and published by Ubisoft for the Nintendo 64. The game was released in North America on October 31, 1999, and in Europe on December 17, 1999. This was the first game developed by Sucker Punch, who would later develop the Sly Cooper and Infamous series for Sony. In the game, the player takes control over Rocket (the title robot) who despite the title has only one wheel. Rocket: Robot on Wheels is notable for being the first game on a home platform to use a realistic physics engine to drive the gameplay. The player is often required to solve puzzles dealing with mass, inertia, friction, and other physical properties. The game had been developed under the title Sprocket until three months before its release, when it was changed due to a trademark conflict with Game Sprockets.
The game has six differently themed worlds (not including the final level), all connected to the main Whoopie World area. Each world is opened by finding a requisite amount of tickets in the other worlds. On the way, the player must learn new moves and techniques from a maintenance robot named Tinker in exchange for tokens found throughout the park. Each world has at least one vehicle, used for solving puzzles and getting tickets. For example, the first level has a hot dog car that the player can drive. After collecting enough tickets from throughout the park, the player can gain entry to the final stage, Jojo World, where Jojo is finally confronted. The music in the game has mostly organ and piano and is based around the jazz and psychedelic music genre(s).
Rocket belongs to Dr. Gavin, the architect and owner of Whoopie World, a futuristic zoo and theme park. On the night before opening day, he goes to a party, leaving Rocket in charge of all the animals and two mascots: Whoopie the walrus and his sidekick Jojo the raccoon. As soon as Gavin leaves, Rocket sees Jojo looking over his plans to ruin opening day and replace the park with Jojo World. Before he can do anything, Jojo knocks out Rocket with a mallet and takes the teleporter down into the park, bringing Whoopie with him. Now Rocket must rescue Whoopie, free the animals, find the tickets and tokens Jojo has scattered throughout the park, and catch the raccoon, all before Dr. Gavin returns. Tinker, the mechanic at the park, tells Rocket that he must retrieve all of the tickets and tokens which Jojo stole, and he opens up the first level, Clowny Island.
The game was met with positive reception, as GameRankings gave it a score of 82.37%. It was listed as the "18th Best Nintendo 64 Game of All Time" in Nintendo Power Magazine's 20th anniversary issue.
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