Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

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Cult Classics: GameCube

Part 2: Fear, frolf, farming and a bit more drumming.

Following on from part one, Keza stops understanding the alphabet and starts hugging everything vaguely chronologically. We've also done a quick check and she doesn't claim anything was released in "1005" in this one.

1080 Avalanche

  • Developer: NST
  • Release: 2003

Apparently even Ikaruga and Skies of Arcadia outsold this, which is pretty unbelievable considering that snowboarding games have always been popular. SSX is a better all-around snowboarding game, but as far as actually racing on a snowboard goes, 1080 Avalanche is about the best there is. It goes a lot faster than any other in its genre, and as a result it's more intense, with no nonsense endless-combo tricking or flawless landings - doing any tricks at all puts you at a huge risk of falling over. It's probably been superseded by more recent snowboarding games, all things considered, but as a pure racer 1080 is still exciting.

What we said: "1080 is easily the best snowboard racing game I've played."

Ribbit King

  • Developer: Bandai
  • Release: 2004

This came out on the PlayStation 2 as well, but seeing as it didn't appear in the PS2's Cult Classics list, it seems only right to include it here. Ribbit King is a mental game in which you play frolf - a version of golf, except played by catapulting frogs through the air with a mallet. I don't think much more really needs to be said to justify Ribbit King's place on this list, apart from that it's fun in multiplayer and amusing for a good long while in single-player. Think Mario Golf with randomly appearing elephants and a ball capable of swimming, running away from the hole and being eaten by snakes and you're on the right lines. Getting the frog in the hole is only a small part of this inspired game - usually it's about getting him to high places for a points bubble, into a pond or near a hazard like a giant trampoline, snake or whirlpool. Essentially you get points when funny things happen, which gives it just the right element of randomness to make it a weird and hilarious multiplayer classic.

What we said: Nowt. Amends: made.

Donkey Kong: Jungle Beat

  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release: 2005

Jungle Beat was played by even less people than Konga was, even though it's the most innovative and addictive 2D platformer to grace the last generation of consoles. The bongos control a little Donkey Kong running around lovely-looking levels, smashing enemies in the face and collecting bananas whilst trying not to touch the ground and break his combo. It starts off simple - run, jump, hit things - and ends up extremely nuanced, as you search for unbroken paths through levels, desperate to keep your combo, devastated when you accidentally hit the ground. The bosses are funny and interesting and the levels are amazingly varied for a game whose control consists entirely of left bongo, right bongo, both and clap. It's a terrific achievement. Apart from all that, though, Jungle Beat actually makes you feel like a bloody great monkey. Few things in games feel more natural and physical than drumming your hands to run and, especially, actually pounding your fists into an enemy, and Jungle Beat keeps the primal feeling going with loud, animal yells, bangs and thwacks and satisfying visual feedback. Just try to play it without banging your chest. It's impossible.

What we said: "If the Revolution needs a poster-child, then Donkey Kong Jungle Beat is surely it."