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Game Review: Trash Panic (PS3)

Trash Panic's Game Screen
Trash Panic's Game Screen

It’s been a long time coming but here it is: HPM is doing game reviews too! Please bare with me while I find a format that’s suitable for such things – it’s a learning curve for me. However we have a corker of a game…

The Premise

Trash Panic was released yesterday on the PlayStation Network for PS3. Basically you have a giant bin that you need to try to fit in all the rubbish coming your way but compacting it down and smashing everything up. It’s a bit like Tetris/Bust-A-Move but without the blocks or balls.

The Gameplay

Trash Panic takes place on one screen like all these puzzlers do. A conveyor belt brings you constant household items to throw into the bin. You then throw the objects into the bin and depending on their properties, it’ll either smash into pieces (great), crack (good), not be damaged (not good) or fall out the bin (awful).  Each items properties make common sense. A microwave is going to smash a light bulb and a massive safe is going to seriously dent a microwave. Using your brain you can try to arrange what’s going to hit where and roughly gauge what will happen next. The game ends when 3 items fall out of the bin undamaged – usually the annoying spot on named bouncy ball.

Soon enough the element of fire is brought in. You can make a fire from matches and toilet rolls or wooden objects that can clear a decent amount of your playing area. You also have the option to place the lid on the bin which stokes the fire up and halts the trash coming at you which is nice. Finally there’s the option to shake the bin with the sixaxis controller to move your objects about a bit in the hope they fall down and make more room.

Add to that objects you need to save not break and boss objects you need to smash up in ten seconds and you’ve got a lot going on.

Controls are spot on, as is the on screen displays and because its all a new twist on the genre the gameplay mechanics are still fun after the novelty as worn off.

The Graphics

For a cheap game the graphics are perfectly fine. The layout is clear and you instantly know what’s going on. There’s not too many bells and whistles on but its a puzzle game and you don’t need them.

The Sound

Original music is provided and while its pleasant enough it doesn’t stand out. It is nice though that as the trash can fills up the music gets more fraught and dramatic. The smashing sounds are nice too.

The Replay Factor

Trash Panic has great replay because in each game, the trash is organised in a different order. The two player (local not online) verses battles are fun too – even for people playing the first time. You are also graded and trophies are available too and they look quite hard to achieve. As no game is exactly the same its always fresh. Puzzle games live and die by the replay factor and this game certainly has it.

The Positives

~Great twist on the genre

~A lot for your money

~Should satisfy anyone who wants to smash up things in frustration

The Negatives

~Sometimes you feel at the games mercy when things shatter or burn in an unexpected manner.

The Verdict

Trash Panic is a great little puzzler. There is a bit of luck and randomness involved but that shouldn’t stop anyone who enjoys something unique and engrossing getting this gem. It has that “just one more go” factor that all great puzzle games have and at £3.99 its an absolute bargain.

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