This review was originally published in Play issue 37, July 1998
DOUBLE BLANK OR DOUBLE SIX? JVC LAYS ITS CUTESY DOMINO CHALLENGE ON THE LINE.
sound like a game for people who wear furry, zip-up slippers and huddle under tartan blankets, but actually it’s a rather addictive (if short lived) psychedelic domino laying extravaganza. Before you turn the page belly-up laughing, just check out the screenshots – they’re absolutely gorgeous and if this game had a middle name, it’d be ‘originality’ – a word you can’t associate with the vast majority of releases.
PaRappa The Rapper grabbed attention and to a lesser extent, the same can be said for Mr Domino. Playing it is simple, but mastering it takes patience, dexterity and a smidgen of luck. You play a cute domino chappy, who is carried along a predetermined course and the idea is to lay down dominoes at specific points in order to create chain reactions. Hitting certain switches triggers off amusing cut-scenes (those crazy Japanese), but if you manage to link every switch without stumbling over one of the many obstacles in your path, you’re rewarded with a special ending for the level.
Each course is effectively a track, so that after making one circuit you return the same point. It’s unlikely that every switch will be triggered on your first jaunt, so there a plenty of time-extending First Aid crosses dotted around ensuring that you can do a few laps to complete the stage.
Unfortunately you only get to manoeuvre Mr domino left and right, there’s little else to do apart from adjust his speed, as everything is on rails. It’s great fun for a while, but there are only six stages and we finished them pretty quickly. The humour in each level makes you chortle at first, but the effect soon wears off after you’ve watched it a few times. There are bonus tiles, including Fast Forward, Slow Forward and the annoying Reset tile, but nothing can hide the short-lived challenge that Mr Domino represents. Although it’s original, stunning to look at and good fun to play, we have doubts about how long you’ll be playing it for.
Original, but lacks lasting challenge