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CONSOLE: Game Boy Advance DEVELOPER: Rocket Company PUBLISHER: Rocket Company
RELEASE DATE (JP): December 1, 2005 GENRE: Virtual Life
// review by SoyBomb

Cute floppy ear overload!

If you're sitting there reading this, you probably have two questions rattling around in that big juicy brain of yours: what is a "Cinnamoroll", and what is a "fuwafuwa daibouken"? Luckily, thanks to our good friends at The Internet, Inc., I can give you answers for both.

Cinnamoroll is a character created by Sanrio, the same company behind such overwhelmingly adorable phenomena as Hello Kitty, Kerokerokeroppi, and yes, even Bonbonribbon ("THE Bonbonribbon?!" Yes, THE Bonbonribbon.) Now, more specifically, the main character is named Cinnamon, a little puppy with impressively floppy ears and a tail that looks like a cinnamon roll, hence the name. Sanrio, who loves making giant franchises out of anything with twinkly eyes, developed a manga and anime around Cinnamoroll; it even spawned spin-offs called "Cinnamoangels" and "Lloromannic". Say what you will about strange names like that. The general point of Cinnamoroll is that the owner of Café Cinnamon saw a puffy dog floating in the sky and decided to adopt it, as it had developed a liking for the cinnamon scents wafting from her baked goods. It was named "Cinnamon" both because of the tail thing and because of its love of cinnamon rolls. And, of course, Cinnamon befriends all the other puppies in the neighbourhood; they also have café-related names, such as Cappuccino and Espresso. And... Chiffon. And... Milk. And... Nuts. Yeah...

Oh, and what does "fuwafuwa daibouken" mean? Well, in Japan, they often use onomatopoeia to indicate certain things. "Fuwafuwa", therefore, sounds like something, similar to how we say "crash" when a loud commotion happens. In this case, "fuwafuwa" actually means "fluffy", and it refers to the sound fluff makes. I don't know what sound that is, but I'm guessing it goes "fuwa". "Daibouken", on the other hand, means "great adventure". So, this game could more or less translate to "Cinnamoroll's Great Fluffy Adventure". Oh boy.

Now that we have all that out of the way, let's see what mischief Cinnamon is going to get himself into today. A quick note before we continue: the game is entirely in Japanese, and I am not even slightly fluent in any Japanese. That being said, it's still very much playable, as you don't need to read anything to actually understand what to do. The story, however, is a complete mystery, but that's not really relevant to the gameplay. It's typically just Cinnamon and a pal yakking it up about something fluffy.

Cinnamon will be sent to a series of worlds, each bearing three stages. These worlds reflect a cutesy version of real-world places, such as Egypt, China, and London (complete with guards bearing large furry hats and rifles, neither of which are of particular danger to you). Your goal in each stage is exactly the same with no variation: you have to collect all the foods found within, conveniently just sitting around on plates, awaiting the arrival of a flappy pooch to snap them up. Sometimes you'll have to make a few appear by stepping on a flashing button, but they're typically right within sight and directly in your path, so there isn't much in the way of strategy. Doing so will gain you the admiration of your subway peers, as well as a crown on the map screen. In the third stage of every level, you will need to rescue a fellow puppy, as well as release another from a cage. This is hardly a challenge. One pup will be just sitting there, waiting for you to touch it, and the other will be in a cage, unlocked by either a button or by collecting all the food.

There's so much pastel cuteness here, I think I'm going to cry.

Cinnamon also bears the power of flight and can float in any direction with little effort. As he progresses through the game, he'll gain extra moves, such as the ability to dash left/right or pound down. This is useful for taking care of enemies that are blocking your path or are generally wishing you ill will.

Of course, enemies aren't even a major concern on the easiest setting. When you touch them, you bounce off. That's it. You're not going to get scuffed up. You're not going to die. You're going to complete your journey like you're walking through the crowded streets of Kyoto, bumping into other creatures like it's a typical element of your daily regimen. "Oh, excuse me, sir." "Beg your pardon, madam." "Sorry, Godzilla — didn't see you there." Even on higher difficulty settings, the damage you take is very minor. Clearly, this game wasn't intended for adults. Neither is the Cinnamoroll franchise, I gather. It's a game for kids. Actually, it's probably intended for me because getting injured in a video game never pleases me.

And if that's not enough pure sugar-coated excitement, you can also putter around in a food log, listing all the different dishes you've picked up in your travels, from strawberry shortcake to an over-inflated novelty donut. Or maybe it's a hemmorhoid donut, who knows? But wait: you can't eat that!

Cinnamoroll Fuwafuwa Daibouken is cute. It's so cute, my eyes sting just looking at it. It's painted completely in faded pastels with absolutely mind-numbingly adorable animations as the protagonist, the rosy-cheeked Cinnamon, flaps his big ears and makes his way through the flowery environs. Mmmm! You just want to hug this game and give it ice cream! Cinnamon collects more than enough ice cream, though, so that's probably a bad idea if you want to keep it healthy. Dogs shouldn't eat too much dairy. The music is generic childish fuwa, but it kept my mood elevated at all times. It's the music they play while you're on hold on the Eternal Happiness Hotline.

There you have it: Cinnamoroll Fuwafuwa Daibouken. It's fun that the whole family could enjoy but probably won't because it's too cute and there's no blood spattering all over the ground. We have Rocket Company to thank for this, the company who later brought us such wonderful treats as "Kouekizaidan Houjin Nihon Kanji Noyryoku Kentei Kyoukai: Kanken Training" and "Nippon Suugaku Kentei Kyoukai Kounin: Suuken DS - Otona ga Tokenai!? Kodomo no Sansuu", two games I had never heard of before this and likely never will hear about again. I don't think I could remember those names, either. Is Cinnamoroll Fuwafuwa Daibouken worth your time and effort to track down, though? Mmmm... nah.

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