Review: Trash Panic
Developer: SCE Japan Studio
Release Date: June 4th, 2009
Players: 1-2 local
What I liked:
- Crazy, inventive game that takes a completely new twist to the Tetris-like gameplay standard.
- Good music and quite a bit of content for a $5 game.
- Gameplay is incredibly deep with a multitude of different things to learn.
- Youtube capture/upload support is always awesome.
What I disliked:
- Huge number of gameplay elements that are only covered via a 24 page manual.
- The game can be confusing for a majority of gamers unless you’re willing learn the mechanics of the game.
- Unforgiving gameplay structure and old-school progression mechanics.
Trash Panic looks deceptive: simply fill the garbage bin without overflowing the top to clear the level. It’s like Tetris with physics! But of course the game isn’t nearly as easy as it looks, as you must smash some trash and gently place other pieces (or risk having the little characters in the game be angry and rain down a game-ending garbage explosion), fill the can with water and oil and decide whether or not to light it ablaze, keep the lid on and watch your oxygen gauge, make sure the decomposing elements in the can are kept to one side with the decomposition ball, make sure the ball gets enough water but let no oil touch it, defeat the boss mid-stage or you lose entirely…
If this sounds overwhelming, that’s because it is. You get a ranking on whether you’re methods were environmentally friendly or not, and getting a perfect score is easily the most impossible task I’ve ever seen in gaming history.
Still, the game is fun, but it is extremely difficult. If you want to unlock levels you have to go through the adventure portion, where you have unlimited continues. But you can only unlock a level for freeplay after you beat it. So if you got to level five in adventure, tried a dozen times and then quit, you cannot play it again until you go though adventure and beat the four levels first (and then hope you beat level five this time). This old-school progression doesn’t fit the game and feels lame. Despite my hours of Trash Panic I’ve yet to unlock a single trophy either. Get the game for it’s quirky, hardcore puzzle mechanics and try out the demo first, but a lot of players will be left cold by it’s omission to leave out casual players altogether.
This game was purchased for review purposes.