E3 2013: Puzzles, Beatdowns, and Space Crabs… PlayStation Mobile @ E3
PlayStation Mobile had quite a presence at this year’s E3. With a space between expo halls as well as its own area of the PlayStation booth, there were lots of games on display, many of which have already been released. I was more interested in checking out the unreleased games as you would imagine. Here are my thoughts on four games coming later this year to PlayStation Mobile.
Gun House was announced during the PlayStation Mobile panel at GDC earlier this year. The game’s name does give you a hint of what the game is like, but the puzzle aspect isn’t really what I expected it to be. Instead of a huge grid to swap tiles around on, Gun House give you only a 6 tall by 3 wide area to work in. At first this doesn’t seem like a big deal, as there are only 2 different types of tiles, but the demo shown at E3 quickly ramped up after each boss was defeated. 2 tile sets turned to 3, and then finally I had to work with 4 different tile sets in that small gird.
If you have played Bullion Blitz you should understand the gameplay basics, forming like-sized rectangles will increase the “value” of a block as it grows. You can swipe left or right to clear blocks from the board. Going left will cause an area of effect attack, like spawning a giant carrot, meanwhile going right will add ammo into your Gun House’s guns. You will always want to keep the ammo up so that you can fend off the waves of enemies trying to tear your house down. While this was just a small sample of the gameplay and it took some time to get a hang of, I am excited to see how the game progresses. Did I mention the music is being done by Disasterpeace?
Hermit Crabs In Space
Hermit Crabs In Space was the winner of the PlayStation Mobile game jam that took place during IndieCade East. Eric talked with the development team at little bit at the event, but the game was still too early for him to play. I did get to check it out though and I can see why it won. In Hermit Crabs In Space you are in control of a spaceship made of different pieces. Each of these pieces has a different task, some work as rockets, while others function as guns. You assign button mappings to each of these pieces individually, so you can get as crazy as you would like in your design.
Going from zone to zone you must destroy other ships built in similar ways. After you take them out you can scavenge pieces to add to your ship. It is basically Legos meets Asteroids if instead of asteroids there are ships. I had a great time building a massive ship only to have it wiped out by a few small more nimble enemies. So you do need to keep that in mind whenever you are architecting your masterpiece. Pro-tip: get lots of shields around your weapons.
Ten by Eight
Ten by Eight is a puzzle game all about trying to link together as many blocks as possible. The grid is as you guessed it 10 columns by 8 rows, with familiar PlayStation icons for the tiles. You try to clear as many as possible that are touching with “star” blocks acting as wild cards. You can also move blocks around, but only if the move will result in a group 3 or more.
There are a couple of different gameplay modes, Endless has you trying to go for as long as possible. In Endless there are stone blocks which will cause you work creatively to continue linking. Timed mode has you racing against a clock to try to get a high score. Finally Zen mode just let’s you chill and play the game. You can use points to unlock different Mascots that cheer you on, each more cute than the next. Ten by Eight should be coming out really soon, like submitting to Sony in the next week or so soon.
Treachery in Beatdown City
The demo that I got to play for Treachery in Beatdown City was similar to the one I was shown at GDC earlier in March. The big difference this time is that I got to play the game. While there was no “world map” for me to walk around on just yet, I did get a chance to play each of the three scenarios offered up in the demo.
I should also mention that all 3 of the game’s characters were present in this build, another difference from the demo I was given at GDC. But anyway, the fighting still works from before: you have FP (Fight Points) which can be used to link together combos using the game’s almost turn-based rpg fighting system. These range from punches to throws and you will need to figure out what each of the enemies are weak to. You can still just punch like an old-school beat’em up, but you won’t get far doing that. I am really looking forward to seeing more of this game in the coming months.
There were some other games like Sully: A Very Serious RPG but they seemed to be in a very early state. You know we will be talking more about these games and others when they get closer to release. Be sure to check back every Tuesday night when we run down the latest releases on the platform.