PSM Quick Play: Switch Galaxy & Tobipen
$2.49 / £1.99 / ¥250 – Tested on PlayStation Vita (Game was purchased)
Switch Galaxy is an arcade racer with a simple premise… get to the end of a stage in the allotted amount of time. To do this you will have to dodge all sorts of barriers, enemy ships and along the way hit some big ramps and boost pads while all the time increasing in speed. Sound like a rush? It is.
While doing all of this you can collect credits that are scattered in different lanes. The credits can then be used to upgrade different options for your tricked out ship like the speed at which you swap lanes, how fast you go, how quickly you reach top speed, and all sorts of different shields to name a few things. There are no in-app purchases here, all of this must be won in game. Which is nice and ads to the replay value.
Power-ups are also scattered across the lanes and you will want to try to grab these if you want to keep your speed up. The brakes hit hard when you run into anything on a lane. Things like invincibility from certain colored barricades and bombs to clear the road all help in getting you where you need to go as fast as possible. The game also has rather tight controls, which can be used either by tapping the screen or using the D-Pad or shoulder buttons.
What really has me hooked at the moment is the games Survival mode. Think of this sort of like Zone mode in WipEout. Here you are placed on an endless set of lanes and you will have to dodge increasing more and more objects as the game gets increasingly faster and faster. It is one hit and you are done here, so you need to have some quick reflects. The game surprisingly doesn’t suffer from any noticeable slowdown, so the engineers at Atomicom must be wizards to get this kind of performace out of the PSM SDK.
Switch Galaxy might be my favorite game on PlayStation Mobile currently. It offers up a great challenge and there is plenty for you to come back to. I can see myself playing the survival mode for a long time to come.
$1.49 / £1.19 / ¥150 – Tested on PlayStation Vita (Game was purchased)
Tobipen is a game that needed a little more time in the cooker. The concept is great, you are a penguin who is trying to dashing across icebergs and jumping every so often. PlayStation Mobile really isn’t overrun with endless runners yet, so this game could have taken that market. Especially when it is again one of the few titles to offer up online leaderboards.
The part that just makes it really a tough time to play is that it is touch only and they layout they have chosen just doesn’t work. You have 2 main inputs for the game: the jump bar and the tobipen button. The tobipen button will cause little Toby to dash, which in turn gains you meter to jump. To activate a jump you need to swipe at the bar. I really haven’t figured out how the jumping works, as sometimes swipes seem to take away more meter but the jump isn’t any bigger.
Being that it is an endless runner your goal is going for as long as you can. The game will throw taller obstacles at you the further you go, making how you manage the jump meter and dash button the key to victory. There is even another twist when you hit 200m where the levels start to fall apart from under you. But really it just boils down to one thing.
This game would needs one simple change to make it more playable: Move the tobipen button to the left side of the screen. Since the game is an endless runner, Toby is always in the centered. There was no real reason to have buttons for game input so tightly packed on the right side of the screen. If you could use both hands to play I am sure it would be much easier to tackle.
If you do happen to pick it up, look for Chris on the leaderboards