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K.C.'s Krazy Chase! Box
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Overall Score:
(Out of 5)
Gameplay: 4.6
Graphics: 4.6
Sound: 4.6
Voice: 4.1

After the success of K.C. Munchkin!, Philips wanted to capitalize on the popularity of the title character by using him in another game. However, they obviously did not want a repeat of the legal troubles generated by K.C.'s first adventure. So they changed the gameplay to be as different from Pac-Man as possible while still retaining the heart of a "maze-munch" game. What they came up with was K.C.'s Krazy Chase!, the game where our intrepid munchkin faces off against the dreaded tree-eating Dratapillar of Venus. The unusual maze-chase game is certainly nothing like Pac-Man and is a worthy outing for Philips's munchkin mascot.

Like all maze-munch titles, K.C.'s Krazy Chase! is played on a rectangular labyrinth. Players of K.C.'s other adventure will feel right at home -- the playfield is exactly the same shape and dimensions. Only this time, K.C. "tumbles" rather than "chomps" his way around the maze, so as not to infringe on Pac-Man's animations. Also, he doesn't eat "dots" anymore -- his mission is to munch on the Dratapillar.

The aptly-named Dratapillar resembles a caterpillar; its body consists of a large orange head followed by a long trail of multicolored circular segments. It slides around the screen, munching on green trees that randomly grow among the maze's purple walls. (K.C. can eat the trees too, but they are worth a paltry one point each and do little but slow him down.) Contact with the Dratapillar's smiling head is deadly, so K.C. has to approach it from the back. He must also avoid contact with the two "Drats," unpleasant creatures that resemble upside-down teardrops with faces and feet. Luckily, eating a Dratapillar segment temporarily turns the Drats white and vulnerable. If K.C. touches a while Drat, the Drat "spins out" in place and can't do any harm for a few seconds. Once the Dratapillar's entire body has been eaten, a new maze (and a new Dratapillar) appears.

The graphics and sound show much improvement over the first game. The animation is particularly impressive, especially by Odyssey² standards. K.C.'s tumbling is suitably energetic, and he enthusiastically devours Dratapillar segments and trees with a series of rapid chomps. Meanwhile, the Dratapillar is slithering around, chewing up trees and sometimes even his own body. After finishing a snack, the Dratapillar breaks out into a broad, satisfied grin -- which quickly vanishes if K.C. eats one of his segments. The Drats' "spinning" animation is simple but convincing, and K.C.'s death sequence is much more elaborate this time -- he frowns, waves goodbye, and blinks out. Voice support is present but unfortunately fairly weak, consisting mainly of distracting encouragements like "Hurry!" and "RUN!" The phrase "Ouch! Oh no!" when K.C. dies is a nice touch, however.

K.C.'s Krazy Chase! succeeds at retaining the basic fun of a maze munch title while moving well beyond the essential sameness of Pac-Man. The Dratapillar's movements and randomly growing trees make each maze subtly different, and the action speeds up over time -- elements that combine to keep things from getting too repetitive. The game reportedly caused a national "fever" in Brazil (where it's called Come-Come! and was the first game released in the Munchkin series), and it's no surprise. K.C.'s Krazy Chase! is a more than worthy follow-up to Odyssey²'s most successful game.

All Reviewer Ratings:

J.W. Hunter5.
Joseph Castro4.
Marcelo Ribeiro5.04.84.5-4.8
Mike Cronis4.
Ron Albanese4.
Tim Whalen5.
William Cassidy4.

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