Who wouldn't buy this title just on the wonderfully strange title alone? Video games always seem to have bad-ass names so that you sound like a cyberpunk when you buy them. Not so with Mr. Domino. Not only is he not afraid to present a console game based on something your grandmother plays, but the game title is also a complete sentence.
When you're done giggling over the title, you'll find a game that delights in being strange.
No One Can Stop Mr. Domino is primarily a puzzle game of the Pipe Dream ilk, i.e. hurry up and complete something before time runs out. Your job, as the titular Mr. Domino, is to set up chains of dominoes along a circular course so that they fall over and trigger various tricks. You only have so much time and so many dominoes, so you have to weigh your moves carefully. Once you've set off all the tricks for that level, Mr. Domino continues on to the next odd little land... and you can't stop him.
It's worth it to parade through each level and figure out just where everything is, and then restart the level and try to get every trick on your first lap. Missing tricks and trying to track them down one at a time will cost you precious time. When you run out of time (and there isn't any onscreen meter to warn you of this) poor Mr. Domino devolves into a normal, non-mobile domino, paying the ultimate price for his overzealous grandstanding.
Controlling our man Domino requires quite a bit of quick fingering. His path can demand hairpin turns and ultra fast serpentines. Get used to playing at the slow speed before you venture into a fast game. Starting slow will let you gradually figure out just what the hell you're supposed to be doing on each level.
(If you checked out the demo of Mr. Domino and didn't enjoy it, you can chalk that up to stupid demo distributors. The demo I received with the Official PlayStation Magazine gave you level 3 to play, which is a tough one. Plus, the game isn't explained very well, so the demo can leave a bad taste in your mouth. The first two levels of the full version of Mr. Domino break you in very nicely... and make you want to play more.)
The worst part is the last level. Level 6 starts you in a sewer... an easy loop once you've sussed it out. Run it as quickly as possible and head topside to the city. This second loop is actually pretty nice as well, but you're going to start to notice that time is running out. Even an H block won't buy you much extra, so any stumbles here are fatal. Make sure you do one complete loop and hit all the tricks because there's no time for a second run. The final loop takes you up the side of a skyscraper and this is do-or-die time. The secret trick is that Mr. Domino can leap over some breaks in the path... and you won't notice it until you miss a turn and surprise, surprise he leaps across the cliff.
The charm of the game is the strange Japanese-culture-shock levels. The tricks get progressively stranger and stranger... in one level, you send a flaming meteor into the middle of a crowded park; in another, you strip a teenage girl down to her undies. Maybe a restraining order could stop Mr. Domino.
This game is just strange, strange, strange. Luckily, it's also very interesting. This one definitely deserves a rental. I don't know that I would call the game addicting, but it is one of those games that demands "just one more try."