Considering how wildly addictive Chu Chu Rocket is, you'd think the franchise would have seen a port on every gaming device by now. While Sega has yet to announce an XBLA or PSN version, they did showcase the iPad version of the game at a recent event. Launching on October 28 is a brand new Chu Chu Rocket, designed for iPad and iPhone. Unfortunately, it's not a universal app, but the iPad version offers an extra feature: four player same-screen multiplayer. You'll have to get close to your friends in order to play, as you huddle around the four corners of the iPad.
For those unfamiliar with the game, Chu Chu Rocket is a real-time puzzle game, in which you must place arrows to direct mice away from ravenous cats and into the safety of their escape pods. The franchise makes a whole lot of sense on a touch screen device, letting you simply hold and swipe your finger to add the mouse-moving arrows. While the game is ideal for iOS, it's a bit disappointing to see how dated the UI elements look. It also appears the menus haven't been properly optimized for use on the touch screen. Another disappointment: Local multiplayer on multiple devices runs sluggishly, with a full second of lag after you touch the screen.
Still, it's more Chu Chu Rocket in a form factor that works well for the franchise. With its same-screen multiplayer, it seems the iPad version is the one to get.