Review Information
Reviewer Name: Alberto
Game Difficulty: Medium
Difficulty Options: False
Game Information
Full Title: Chuck Rock
Year Released: 1992
Game Type: Platform
Max Players: 1

Chuck Rock is a traditional platform game featuring a not-so-traditional hero: Chuck, the utterly ugly but equally adorable caveman, who must venture through a pseudo-prehistoric world full of bizarre creatures. He doesnít have big muscles or powerful weapons to help him defeat his enemies, but he has something just as deadly: his hard and oversized belly (which kinda makes you wonder if there was beer and TV at that time). Now that we met the main character, letís have a look at what this game has to offer.
The story is quite typical: Chuck Rockís wife, Ophelia, has been captured and you have to rescue her. The perpetrator? Gary Gritter, a boxing tyrannosaur. In order to reach him, Chuck must pass through five different zones: a jungle, a cave, a lake, an icy mountain, and finally a dinosaur cemetery. Each zone is divided in three to five parts, plus a boss stage. There are no dividing screens between zones or parts, you just start at the beginning of the new stage after a short while. When you lose a life, you stat at the beginning of the part you were in. The game has a wide variety of enemies, most of them based upon dinosaurs and prehistoric mammals, but all of them weird-looking. You must fend them off using the power of your belly or your flying kick. However, not all the creatures are there to hurt you. Some of them will help you in your quest, like the red pterosaur that carries you from place to place or the crocodile that helps you jump higher. Chuck can also lift and throw rocks that can grant him access to special platforms; they can also be used to kill enemies, to protect your head from falling rocks, or to create bridges over dangerous terrain, like lakes of acid and thorny bushes. They come in two sizes, big and small. Carrying the big ones will slow you down considerably, and will reduce your jumping capability. Some stages include water, and Chuck will have to watch his breath if he doesnít want to drawn. In order to do so, you must look at Chuckís face in the top right corner of the screen, which will start becoming blue. Once the face is completely blue you will die instantly, regardless of the amount of energy you have left. Under the water, you will not be able to perform the belly-butt; the kick will be your standard attack. You can also throw rocks (normally you would float, but holding a rock will keep you in the bottom). Since all of Chuckís basic attacks are short-ranged, most of the time you will be exposed to direct damage from your enemies. Luckily, there are enough energy power-ups scattered across the levels to balance the situation. The rest of the items in the game are just there to increase your score.
The first striking graphic feature you will find in Chuck Rock is the absence of backgrounds. The black color dominates most of the screen, and this can sometimes make the levels look empty, specially the first ones which have less objects and enemies. Fortunately, the rest of the graphics are very nice and colorful, which will surely distract your eyes. The enemies are also very varied, coming in many different sizes and colors. The bosses are graphically complex, which of course makes them look cool.
Sound & Music
When the title screen appears youíre rewarded with one of the catchiest tunes I have ever heard in an 8-bit videogame, which leaves you demanding for more. However, that feeling fades away soon, since the levels have no music whatsoever. That makes the game become very silent when no enemy is around, which clearly isnít very nice. Unfortunately, the sound effects donít help too much, since theyíre not very varied and they may tire you after a while. Most of them sound fairly well, though. The only truly annoying one is the tweet of the enemy pterosaurs.
The controls are quite simple. Button 1 to perform the belly-butt, button 2 for jumping, and D-pad to go left or right, or to duck. To perform the flying kick, jump and press button 1. To pick up rocks, duck and press button 1, and press it again to throw them. The D-pad responds nicely, but the kick and belly-butt are slow moves that take a short while to respond. Youíll have to practice a bit in order to synchronize them with the enemyís approach.
Replay Value
Music & Sound
Replay Value
Being a typical platformer, there is not much that you could do while playing this game again, except perhaps to try to collect all points, or to kill all enemies. However, despite all its faults itís not such a game that you would never want to play again. Iíve done it on several occasions after I had finished it, and it still hasnít bored me.
Chuck Rock is a regular game which could have been much better. However, it has a special charm to it, and without any doubts is Chuck Rock himself. Itís an interesting character, and its bizarre prehistoric world invites you to explore. Perhaps the SMS version of this game doesnít give us enough of it, but at least itís a start. Also, if you like dinosaurs like I do, youíll enjoy this game a little more, even though itís not biologically or historically correct (and to be honest, who cares?). Itís just a nice prehistoric fantasy, and I think you wonít regret to be a part of it.
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