Developer: Halfbrick Studios
Release Date: November 19th, 2009
What I liked:
- Easy to pick up, hard to put down.
- The incremental in-game trophy system.
- Variety of gameplay modes and power ups.
What I disliked:
- The arcade mode seemed a little short.
- The menu system can be a little confusing.
- The controls for some modes are not explained right away.
The premise of this game is simple; collect crystals, don’t hit your echoes. But it is probably one of the best minis I have played to date. When you first start the game off you only have arcade mode unlocked. In this mode you simply have to collect a specified number of crystals per stage. While progressing through the mode, stages will feature different power-ups that make collecting the crystals easier. But the real fun doesn’t start until after you unlock the other modes. I do recommend playing through arcade first, it isn’t that long, just so you unlock everything.
By playing through arcade mode you should have noticed a few in-game trophies pop up. The interesting thing about this trophies is that they “evolve”. Each trophy has four levels, bronze through gold and then finally the ever coveted Halfbrick. By checking the trophies menu you will see what you need to do to progress them to the next level. I love this idea and I wish more games would do it. It makes playing the same stuff over again a little more entertaining. You will be like, “I just need to get 2 more echoes on screen in Clockwork mode to get that trophy.” The amount of stages you can play in the other modes really ups the replay value. But I wish the leaderboards were handled a little differently. It doesn’t make for easy pass and play games, as you would have to back all the way out and change your name in the options menu.
There are a few things I wish were a little more clear. When I first unlocked Clockwork mode, I had no clue how to play it. It wasn’t until I read a load screen halfway through the game that I found out I had to use the shoulder buttons to move the echoes. The main menu can also get a little confusing since your character doesn’t re-center after backing out to the previous menu.
Even with those small gripes, the game is still a great value for its price. Did I mention this game is dirt cheap? Well I guess I have now. This is only the first game from Halfbrick on minis and I can’t wait to play their next game. While this isn’t a new game, it is an Xbox Indie Game port, it is still something fresh. The transition from Indie game to minis is an easy one to make and this feels better than most iPhone ports on PSP. So I don’t see any reason not to try this out.