Project Rub is a very odd game. You spend your time trying to win the affections of a girl, which rather strangely makes you (if you are a man) feel very girly. If ever there was a game designed for women, this is it, except the dating scenario seems to be the wrong way round. I suppose warning signs should have rung in my head as soon as the game was announced; a set of minigames and a dating scenario is hardly action-hero stuff. Having said that, the game is still a good showcase for the DS's Touch Screen.
Falling into the same category as WarioWare Touched!, Project Rub is almost devoid of a story and is entirely about minigames. It also shares WarioWare's crazy mentality, with some of the games on offer being truly bizarre. Games vary from seeing off rampaging bulls with your stylus, to escaping from some quicksand. You'll also have to 'rub' or touch the girl of your dreams during a number of the games, obviously in a wholesome family way. After all, this is on a Nintendo console.
The game is split into acts, with each act made up of a small number of minigames and a boss minigame. A couple of the games (boss games in particular) take a while to get the hang of, but even the most novice gamer could see all the game has to offer in a weekend. Unlike WarioWare Touched!, Project Rub's minigames can take a few minutes to get through. This makes the game far more laid back than Nintendo's offering and less entertaining because of it. The games are crazy, but they just aren't as frenzied, nor as genius as those found in WarioWare.
As an example of what the DS can do the game is a success. Touching, speaking and blowing are all used to play the game, with a nice assortment of games assigned to each control method. Of course, whether or not you will want to blow like a lunatic into the DS's mike, or shout like a nutter is entirely up to you, however, I can't see many grown men (or women) feeling comfortable doing either, not unless they are in complete isolation. If you don't mind looking like an idiot, this game might be for you.
While Project Rub showcases the Touch Screen really well, it isn't so strong visually, not technically at least. A distinct visual style pulls it away from mediocrity, but anyone wanting to show off the fancy new graphics their DS is capable of will be disappointed. Thankfully, the game's soundtrack (even if the same tunes are heard over and over again) is really good. In fact, I have even found myself humming the main tune, before scanning the surrounding area for possible witnesses.
Project Rub is impossible to hate, but a long way from being great. With its quirky soundtrack and wacky games it really tries to be loved, and credit has to be given for creating a game that actually uses the DS's unique features. However, upon finishing the game I was left feeling... well, nothing. It's a similar feeling to watching daytime TV soaps. It was something to do, but nothing all that memorable. I certainly didn't feel the magic.