Ucchannanchan no Honō no Challenger: Denryū Iraira Bō—The N64 Puzzle Game

Ucchannanchan no Honō no Challenger - Denryū Iraira Bō title screen
Rather!

Here’s a quirky Nintendo 64 puzzle game from December 1997. From lesser-known Japanese developer Yuke’s, it’s based off a popular TV show from the land of Nippon.

What’s Ucchannanchan no Honō no Challenger: Denryū Iraira Bō?

Well, it’s a puzzle game on Nintendo’s 64 bit console. It’s basically a wire maze game turned into a virtual experience.

It was adapted from a segment in a popular Japanese game show called Ucchannanchan no Honō no Challenger: Kore ga Dekitara 100 Man En!!

There’s also a Neo Geo game called The Irritating Maze that’s also based off the show.

However, for the Nintendo 64 version you’ve got Ucchannanchan no Honō no Challenger: Denryū Iraira Bō (ウッチャンナンチャンの炎のチャレンジャー 電流イライラ棒). That’s some title.

Just look at this thing! In late 1997, this title was sitting on gaming shelves in Japan.

Ucchannanchan no Honō no Challenger - Denryū Iraira Bō on the N64

With it’s bizarre name, and equally bizarre box art (sexualised, for some ridiculous reason), it’s no surprise it was a Japan-only title for Nintendo’s console.

From the reviews we’ve had a look at, it’s apparently a frustrating and fiddly experience—yet rewarding and with some depth once you get used to it.

The goal is to guide a metal rod between the metallic lines of a maze. And to do so as quickly as possible.

Now, we like the N64 pad and never had any problems with it (unlike a lot of other gamers).

We’ve seen some people say the analog controller works really with Ucchannanchan no Honō no Challenger: Denryū Iraira Bō. Whereas others say it’s fiddly and irritating. Subjectivity, eh?

As you play along you also have to deal with an excitable Japanese commentator shrieking hysterically.

For those of us who don’t speak Japanese, that just adds to the whole surreal nature of the experience.

As you play along, this bloke rants wildly in baffling nature. What’s he saying? Who the hell knows? But it adds to the whole quirky Japanese charm offensive.

With plenty of courses to complete and a two-player head-to-dead mode available, there’s a fair amount to get on with.

It seems. Not that we’re ever going to play this one. We remember seeing some reviews for it in late 1997, but it was obviously never going to make it to the west.

However, with that absurd title and its various other eccentricities, we couldn’t help but dive on into its wonders.

Thank you kindly, Ucchannanchan no Honō no Challenger: Denryū Iraira Bō.

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