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Reviews (0-9 / A-M)

Cachat (Japan)

993 (1-2 Players, Simultaneous)



Overview and game play

One of the positive aspects of the phenomenally successful game Tetris is that it inspired some game designers to create Tetris style puzzles and Cachat (Japan) is one of them, but with enough differences to ensure its own identity. The game has Japanese text for its instructions about how to play, but is still playable and fun for non-Japanese speakers. Fortunately, the attract sequence that is screened before a player deposits a coin (or coins for a two player game) outlines how to play. The game area consists of a rectangular window with coloured openings on the left and right sides. Identically sized and shaped blocks with straight lines or curves on them fall from the top of the game area and pile on top of each other. The players’ objective is to rotate the straight lines and curves on the blocks to form a single line that connects one of the openings on the left side of the game area with one of the openings on the right side and attain the highest score possible. Blocks that are not covered can also be picked up and moved to a different part of the game area to help make a connection. Once a connection is made between the left and right side of the game area, all blocks that form the line will disappear. New blocks continue to fall into the game area for the player to rotate and the player must continue to make connections with the left and right sides to improve their score and progress to increasingly difficult new rounds. If a pile of blocks is getting high, the blocks will turn light yellow as a warning to the player to decrease the size of that pile. Failure to do so will result in the pile touching the top of the game area and the game will be over. 




The graphics of Cachat are certainly not “state-of-the-art” for 1993, the year the game was released. However, the puzzle game genre is not known for its outstanding contributions to arcade graphics or sound as the focus of a puzzle game is on the game play in most cases. The cartoon style graphics are nevertheless adequate and amusing in places. The witch doctor’s dancing in the 2nd game area is a fun distraction during a 1-player game. Also amusing are the antics of what seems to be a Dodo bird that appears during the game continue countdown. The bird struts around during the countdown and if a coin is not inserted by the time the countdown reaches zero, a hole in the ground below the bird appears and the bird falls into the hole leaving its eyes behind which the bird quickly grabs with its wing.




Average sound effects are present in Cachat ranging from sounds for falling and rotating blocks to sounds for blocks that have been cleared, and a warning sound when a pile of blocks gets too high. Some background music plays to accompany the sound effects, but is not memorable nor does it contribute much to the game play. Some African themed music would have been ideal for the witch doctor to dance to, but instead the music is bland and unimaginative. More effort could have been put into some of the sound effects such as adding a few speech samples for the witch doctor or a squawk for the Dodo bird when it falls into the hole. Instead, there are no sound effects for the amusing characters and it is unfortunate that in 1993, so little attention to sound details would exist in a game. 



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