Short and sweet, but good fun while it lasts.
I do enjoy a game that’s heavily stylised and one of the styles that works well on the PSP Mini systems is the stick man / paper style. It’s been used a few times at TikGames return to it for Stick Man Rescue.
The goal, similar to Choplifter, is to get your stick man army back to HQ! You pilot the chopper to do so, can shoot at enemy crafts and tanks and can carry your members back to base. Each level is laid out well and the difficulty curve is relatively gentle. There are a couple of other surprises to discover over the game but sadly the game doesn’t stay around too long and at 30 levels can be done in a single sitting easily.
~Good control system
~Nice level design
~Artistic visuals (if stick men aren’t your thing)
~Double the price and you can get Choplifter HD!
Stick Man Rescue is a strange one. It’s fun while it lasts but goes out to look and feel like a cheap rip off of a classic game. As a result it feels a bit hollow, is over too soon and feels a bit trapped by the platform its trying to sell. Maybe it’s because I’d recently played the game it’s trying to emulate. Either way, it is fun while it lasts at least and that’s something.
This starving lil thing needs feeding and its up to you to navigate his head around the many, many maze screens filling him up by passing over as much food as possible. This keeps lil Jimmy going and stops him slowing down. Once you’ve gobbled all you need you just keep ascending up to the next pile of food. Onwards, upwards, forever.
Of course these hi score challenge games can come crashing down easily and the game over mechanic here is that if you don’t find some food intime you’ll eventually stop propelling forward and your neck will collapse! Sounds far more graphic than it is really, but his cute face keeps you going. The puzzles come constantly and you must work quickly to navigate them in the shortest time to keep momentum going. Sometimes if you know its tight, you can use a near death experience to drop the giraffe down the screen and collect the hot chilli you need to fly back up again. It’s little things like that which sets the game apart from other also rans.
-Fluid, easy controls
-You could get infuriated as one mistake can cost all?
Addictive, simple and very time consuming if it grabs you, Hungry Giraffe is a stellar PSP Mini and deserves to be in everyone’s collection as one of the best examples of “just one more go” gaming.
Canabalt essentially kick started a mini sub genre when it was originally launched – the automatic running game! Since it has taken a while for it to eventually arrive on the PSP Mini range, the heavily stylised game I’m afraid to say has been superseded by its clones.
It’s black and white visuals and scrolling speed of its graphics are well done, the music is fine but its like when a sequel arrived before the original came out. It feels good, familiar but not really any better than what’s already there. It’s also the easiest of the auto-run genre too. One Epic Game, I Must Run and The Impossible Game are all harder and it you come away from Mini’s Bit.Trip.Runner is more entertaining.
~Good to witness where a mini genre began
~Easiest entry to the genre by far
~To lightweight to compete with its clones
A must for genre fans, I’d recommend any of the above games first before trying this out. It doesn’t do anything wrong at all, it’s just the weakest of the bunch.
The Impossible Game eh? That sounds like a challenge and a red flag at a bull to me! Some games really are a test of your patience, skill and ability to not smash a controller in face to despair. The Impossible Game fits that category down to a T.
Reminding me of a much more clinical version of the Bit.Trip series, this is a test of memory, timing and dexterity. You will be given insanely long levels to traverse your orange box across. Do you jump, roll or drop down? These split decisions to the beat of the music will determine if you actually get to play another beat of the music. There’s no learning curve, you’re thrown straight in and after about 20 seconds it’s already catching you out. Game over. Restart. This time you’ve got to 25 seconds, learning now that you can get over that section bungled by not jumping every second square. Then you’ll be smacked with a new situation. Game over. Restart. Still with me? It takes a while to get used to the exact box physics as you move constantly right on the timeline but after that things are predictable and fluid. If you die, you know it was you that made the mistake, not the game.
However, have enough memory and sheer patience and the rewards soon come in as you go further than you did last time, learnt a new section of the level or heard the music change as you entered a new segment. There are several levels but I fear I’ll never see them all as the challenge is great. It is a challenge that you can come back to for another 30 goes before getting so red-faced you need to play Flower as a screen saver to relax again.
~A Simon Says gamers field day
~Excellent sound quality for a PSP Mini
~A genuine challenge
~That controller you just broke in frustration will cost a lot more than the game to replace!
A clinical bit.trip on a practically endless mode, its challenging, difficult but has the hook that will pull you back time and time again as you try to beat it.
I have yet to really play a PSP Mini that has had such a frustrating design flaw as Monochrome Racing. This is a top down racing game with its selling point being a monochrome track with 4 coloured cars to battle it out. In classic Micro Machine tradition, you must knock out your opponents and be the only one left racing on the screen either by nudging them off the screen or going so quickly they drop off the bottom of the screen and that’s it.
The design flaw? It’s over in literally five seconds.
Instead of trying to be the first to five points or something like that, it’s literally a one-off affair. The AI is nothing short of shocking. They spin in circles on the straights, fail to turn for corners and stop dead at random intervals. Admittedly there’s 84 tracks to unlock but in the fifty or so I’ve unlocked already I’ve yet to actually get round a lap of one because I’ve usually won by turn 2. Then there’s a loading screen and an awfully chunky un user-friendly menu system that takes an aeon to navigate. You actually spend more time in the menu’s than on the track!
When you’re on the track the handling is awful as well. The cars are on ice so everything slides or rather slips across the screen. It’s like watching melting butter drip off a knife and it’s just as fun! As a result of that even trying to race competitively in such small arenas is more frustrating that it ever should be and as a result you’ll put it down and go for either Rocket Racers or Super Touch Nitro Racing instead on the Mini market.
~AI is so idiotic it ruins the gameplay for single and multiplayer modes
~Menu’s are difficult to navigate and there’s a loading screen every ten seconds
I could have tried to forgive the handling if I could actually get more than ten seconds of gameplay followed by ten seconds of loading screen. Isn’t it funny how one oversight at the basic level of game design has utterly ruined a game. Sorely disappointed, I cannot recommend this to anyone.
The puzzle genre. So many games revolve around a similar concept yet I never find things to be stale. Numba goes for the twist of chaining up number patterns. You can go up (1,2,3,4), down (4,3,2,1) , look at doing all odds, all evens or even go in incremental steps (1,5,9). It’s the sheer diversity that you can choose that then makes Numba such a frantic score fest. As ever there’s a timer clocking down for you to replenish with chains of 3 or more tiles. That mode will be for the medal chasers. For the thinkers there’s a clear the board mode where you have to really forward plan your moves to make sure you leave no tile unturned. Each mode has over 60 boards of each and the difficulty slowly increases per board nicely, changing a few things each time such as the number faces and introducing ice titles and multipliers.
There’s nothing really to complain about Numba either and the price is shockingly cheap!
~Cheapest Mini ever
~Simple but very addictive gameplay mechanics
~Perfect difficulty curve
~If you don’t like puzzles, this will not change your mind
Simple, effective and crisp from start to finish, Numba should be a classic on everyone’s PS3 and PSP Mini. Buy it now.
Who remembers an old 80′s game called “Pang”? Well its back with “Run Ghost Run” a new PSP Mini also for PS3.
The premise is a guy stays over night in a haunted castle and must survive the night by getting rid of the ghosts in each level. The gameplay works identical to Pang from the 80′s. You are a man on the bottom of the screen and you can move left and right (on later levels you can also jump on springs to reach higher platforms) and you’re armed with a gun that fires a ghostbuster like ray straight upwards to the top of the screen. Ghosts bounce across the screen and when they hit the ray they shrink down in size but divide into two ghosts. The gameplay comes by tactically shooting and moving around the screen to avoid the bouncing ghosts but also to make sure you’re not overwhelmed by the sheer number of critters bouncing around the screen. It’s all to easy to be trigger happy and cause a mess for yourself. To balance things nicely however there is a time-limit on each level. Getting the balance right between shooting and avoidance is key to success.
Run Ghost Run! has cute, bold graphics and the controls are responsive making the mini a joy to play on the PS3 full screen. There are 36 levels to get through, each with multiple sections to them, and a few power ups to help you out when the going gets tough. It really does evoke the gameplay of Pang perfectly.
~Old Skool gameplay down to a Tee
~ Occasionally unfair deaths
Great for a drop in and out play and great for on the move, Run Ghost Run is one of the best mini’s released in 2011 to date.
“I Must Run!” is a very simple reflex game for the PSP Mini. Following the story (neatly shown in comic book cutscenes) of a man whose on a prison break out to right a wrongdoing (but another wrongdoing!) you control a man who will not stop running. Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to make sure you can jump, double jump, slide and punch your way through increasingly tough levels of obstacles. Miss a jump? Game Over. Hit a wall? Game Over. If you fail to punch objects out your way it slows down your momentum which then means on the bigger jumps you might not make it across. The crux? It’s very hard! I’ve never seen the end so I’m assuming there is one and it isn’t just a high score fest. Every few in-game hours (about 90 seconds) the scenery changes. The graphics themselves are crisp and neat with lovely parallax backgrounds and plenty of on screen action which adds to the games difficulty itself as your eyes focus in so intently on what’s going on around you, its sometimes easy to get distracted.
Ultimately, this games not for everyone. Reflex or music game lovers will enjoy it, others will scoff at such a simple premise but it has that pull to see if you can get further to the next stage and that addiction is what makes this game equally infuriating and enjoyable. Just don’t get overly frustrated when you die after 2 minutes!
~Simple premise and controls
~If you’re not a high score chaser this will have limited appeal.
Possibly the gaming definition of a medal chaser. You will try, try and try again but possibly never see the final hurdle. Tough, uncompromising but fiendishly addictive. Prepare to be sucked in.
Despite having a name that feels like it’s been translated directly from some weird internet tool word for words, Rotating Octopus Character is actually a fun little mini adventure and best of all, it uses only two buttons. X to jump. O to change direction.
See our little Octopus is constantly in forward motion and he clings to any walled surface going, be this a levels outer wall or a tree in the middle. Baby Octopuses descend from the sky and land across the level and its your job to collect them all. What starts out as a simple navigational puzzle quickly turns into a precision test as you need to reverse and traverse out of traps as the levels get more and more challenging.
The graphics are simplistic but very bold. You can always tell what’s going on and where you’re going. The sound itself does a good job to not irritate and keep the chirpy theme going.
There’s around 70 levels in all and then a timed challenge afterwards and so for 24mb you’ve got a good challenge for a couple of hours.
~Simple game mechanics
~Fluid game physics means that when you die you know its your fault, not bad game design
~Appears to only save your progress per section of levels rather than per level.
Fun, relatively addictive and with a challenging but fair difficulty curve, our Octopus friend is most welcome on our TV screens. Let’s hope next time he gets a name!
Ah, we at HPM do like a puzzle game. Babel The King of Blocks has three distinct modes in this fun, fresh PSP Mini. The 24mb game is all about building tower blocks. You stand on a bridge above a platform and drop blocks of various shapes and sizes down to the platform below. Each level has a set height goal to achieve. Your goal is to get there without the tower crashing down.
The first of three modes is Temple where you are given a straightforward platform to build on. I say straightforward… the difficulty curve ramps up a notch with each level. By level 5 you’re balancing triangles on circles and really having to plan your moves way in advance. This mode however is the easiest. Next up is Pyramid which takes the platform turns it into a weight scale. The beefier the block, the more it will tilt the platform and soon your tower will be doing more than leaning like Piza! This causes for some real kneejerk “argh” moments when you realise you’ve tilted too far and desperately try to salvage your building – normally to no avail. The third challenge is Tower. Here the blocks are constantly coming down from the top of the screen ala Tetris. I found this mode tricky because its just as much about reflexes as it is forward planning.
~Essentially three games in one
~Very crisp graphics for a Mini
~If you can’t fathom block based games, this will do little to sway you (but then you’ll never be swayed to be honest!)
A great PSP Mini, each stage has almost 30 levels in each. Puzzle lovers will enjoy the satisfaction of watching Babel to a little Egyptian dance when you clear a level. If that is an incentive for the just-one-more-go syndrome, then I’ve no idea what is!
Drums Challenge is a new rhythm action game released as a PSP Mini which of course also work on the PS3. The game comprises of a single game screen filled with up to potentially 10 drum and cymbals, each mapped to a controller button. It’s then a case of Simon says as first a pattern is drummed out and then you follow trying to memorize the pattern as well as playing it in time to the beat. A scroll rolls across the top to let you know when the AI ends and you begin. More drum kits and styles are unlocked as you progress through the game. What is most impressive is how the buttons are laid out over the controller to great effect and everything feels very natural to play.
The game has a variety of styles from Latin to rock to jazz and back again but you have just three songs per genre, one easy, medium and one hard. The easy ones are so easy you’ll be perfect scoring them second time round as they usually only utilise two or three drums. The medium ones start to mix in a few hi-hats and cymbals which makes things more rhythmic and complex and the hard ones throw you in as a full drummer. The challenge is purely to get a perfect score which is achievable to anyone seasoned with the likes of Rock Band, Rhythm Zone or Amplitude. Infact, in many ways its too easy until the very end of the game and as the songs are short you can clear the mini quite quickly. What you can do though is then create your own beats in freestyle as a passing muse.
~Button lay out and rhythms do make it a good drumming experience
~A whole mini for the price of less than 2 Rock Band tracks
~Seasoned rhythm action gamers will clear the game with ease
For £1.74 you get a decent mini that’s fun, intuitive and provides amusement for a good 90 minutes before you’ve probably unlocked every track and then its down to your own medal chasing as to whether or not you continue. Fun while it lasts.
As with all great puzzle games, the crux is usually in its simplicity and ability to hook you on for one more go. Shift Extended, released as a PSP Mini and playable on a PS3 does just that.
Essentially the games concept is get a man across one full screen of puzzles and traps to reach the door. Oh how simple…
Shift Extended’s gameplay focuses on one thing, the ability to turn the world upside down. The game is completely monochrome and when you press a trigger button your character (room provided) flips over the line from black to white or vice versa as the room becomes a mirror reflection of itself. You now can move around different aspects of the screen as what was once air is now land and once again vice versa. What starts off as a simple switch and run ends up being a minefield of power ups, spiked ledges, colour changing blocks, keys and sub doors. Cue head explosion!
With the game being completely monochrome, its certainly distinctive if low key however the characters animations are great for a Mini and everything is without fuzz even on the PS3 – something of an achievement for a Mini!
The RePlay Factor
One of the biggest strengths of the game is that it has a perfectly balanced learning curve. Things are introduced relatively quickly but not without a proper explanation and example level of how they’re used. The same premise doesn’t feel dull or tired and there’s over 150 levels to work through.
~Simple gameplay that hooks you in
~Lots of levels
~ Novel concept that feels fresh hours in
~ If you don’t like puzzle games, the later levels will do nothing to convert you over (but that’ll be your loss to be frank)
~ No online scoreboards
I really cannot fault the game at all. I felt right at home from the word go as it eases you in with some easy triumphs. This lures you in for an easy ride and you’ll have your smile wiped quickly off your face twenty or so levels in.
Having just had a field day on PSPS Mini’sI felt compelled to tell everyone about this fantastic little game. Full of silly humour, great visuals and a very simple gameplay mechanic, Monsters (probably) Stole My Princess is the perfect quick 5 minute game.
You play The Duke, who suddenly finds his Princess has been stolen and assumes every monster in the area took her. Now its time for payback and double jump those monsters to hell!
The game plays like Rainbow Island in a way. You need to jump from platform to platform as the monster climbs up the playing field. You need to catch up with it and double jump into it three times to take it out. The crux and the catch is that the area to catch them in is quite small so you need to constantly plan ahead. Of course it’s very easy to do but if you want high scores and to see special moves and extra areas you need to rake up combos. Each platform you land on consecutively adds a point to your combo. If you fall down or land on the same platform or a lower one you’ve already been on before, you lose your combo. Much of the gameplay here will involve trying to max your combo as a high as you can get it as the higher the combo, the more dramatic the finishing move at the end of the level is going to be.
I loved the cartoon graphical feel and the cut scenes are really well done. There’s no slowdown whatsoever as well as things do go at quite a pace.
Lots of gothic organs and vinyl pianos at the ready here but all of the highest quality. Everything sound wise and effect wise really compliments the tongue in cheek humour perfectly.
The RePlay Factor
Here is the only down side. There are only 5 mandatory levels and you can have the game completely in 10 minutes flat. I’m not the worlds best gamer and I only had to have a few go’s at the final boss, everything else I passed first time. The big pull here is all the extra bits you can go back for via score attack mode, that then unlocks awards in game. However if you’re not going to sit and memorise the jump order to get perfect combo scores, you might find this game far too short.
~Great humor and tone
~Graphically excellent for a PSP Mini
~Simple to learn, hard to master
~One of the shortest games I’ve played for a long time
Monsters (probably) Stole My Princess is a riot… while it lasts. This game purchase is purely down to if you prefer style of substance at times or if your a gamer that is not satisfied until you’ve mastered every level for a gold medal. If you fall into these catagories, you’ll love this simple, effective and fun platformer.