Review: 5-in-1 Arcade Hits
Publisher: Grip Games
Developer: Grip Games
Release Date: July 6, 2010 | July 7, 2010
Price: $3.99 | £2.49 | €2.99
What I liked:
Leaderboard support (sort of)
Good production values
Solitaire is still solitaire
What I disliked:
Some games aren’t very fun
Two-player Pool is bugged
Music is annoying
You’d only recognize the five games included in this mini as “hits” if you’ve spent an inordinate amount of time playing bar-top arcade machines. What you have here is an okay collection of said bar-top games (sans nudity) wrapped up in a well-presented package. The menus are basic and there is nothing resembling a tutorial or instructions for any of the games, but the interface is at least pretty and crisp. In fact, the overall graphic design of the package is one of this minis’ strong suits. The game manages to support leaderboards in spite of having no online functionality: the game generates a code to enter on the developer’s website, where you can register and have your score ranked against the rest of the world.
Of the five included games, Pairs and 15Puzzle are the most forgettable. They are a card-matching game and a picture shuffle game respectively; unless you really have an urge to flip over cards until you find a pair, I doubt anyone will find more than an hour’s worth of entertainment out of these modes. Tetroid is the only game with any semblance of originality, but even then it’s just a horizontal Arkanoid variant. In single-player the blocks “descend” towards the paddle steadily, making it slightly more challenging than your average brickbreaker. The two-player mode is like Pong, but with bricks in the middle. The challenge in this mode rarely comes from the other player, but from one’s own ball rebounding off the center obstacles.
There is a decent version of Solitaire in this package, with controls that fit the PSP d-pad and buttons (or DualShock 3, if you play this mini on your PS3). You can choose between one or three card draws, and the game scores you on how fact you complete a game. There’s even an undo move feature. It plays very well, but I can’t help but feel that there are versions of Solitaire that are just as good on dozens of other platforms, such as PCs and mobile phones, that cost next to nothing.
Pool is the standout game in this package, but I am sorry to say that the two-player hotseat game of Eight-ball appears to be bugged. The game displays no indication of score for each player, and it will declare a winner seemingly at random, while there are still balls in play. It’s disappointing, because the Pool mode has great physics and functional controls. It’s very fun to play alone for high score, but I cannot recommend the multiplayer. Overall, I can’t say the package is worthwhile unless you really want Solitaire on your PSP.
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