|PlayStation Move Mindbenders|
Release Date: Out Now
Players/Online features: 1-2
Move Mindbenders is a threesome of puzzly brainteaser-type games, all given the PlayStation Move treatment, and each possessing its own unique character, atmosphere and gameplay style.
Tumble is probably both the least known and the most technically impressive of the three titles, and the sort of game that demonstrates Move’s capabilities perfectly. A cross between Jenga, Tetris and pick-up sticks all in glorious 3D with amazingly lifelike physics that allow you to carefully place varied objects in a pile. If you're playing the simultaneous or take-turns 2 player modes you'll be hoping your opponent stacks them badly and loses points. Despite always being set in the same stylised ‘arena’ there’s a remarkable variation in the levels and I’m only going to hint at some of the clever power ups, moving parts and special bricks that you’ll encounter as you progress (sticky bricks, rotating bases, fans that cause crosswinds), This means that every level isn’t a matter of just stacking one interesting shaped brick on top of another, nearly every one offers up a new challenge, limit or variation.
Echochrome ii is a weird little puzzle game that’s quite unique. Your Move controller acts as a flashlight and by using the supplied level constructed from simple blocks and the shadow cast by them (you still with me?) your task is to make it possible for your little shadow man to reach the exit of the level, even having to make an exit-shaped structure for him at times. By carefully adjusting the shadow you can make platforms, holes, ramps, trampolines and elevators to make a path to the exit for your shadow. It’s a bit like Lemmings only there’s only one little guy and he isn’t suicidal, he won’t walk off unprotected edges he’ll turn around and walk the other way. You do need to be careful you don’t squish him between two shadows though! At first you simply move the shadow once to make a route home, but later levels require you to stop and reposition several times for success. Levels cleverly include hidden ‘Shadow Art’ (designs made by casting the level’s shadow in a certain way) for you to search for as well as beating your own and your friend’s best times for the levels.
The various abilities are limited in number, which obviously constitutes the challenge of each level. In what is I believe a first for the series some abilities are picked up by the Lemming within the level itself, so some careful preplanning is often required. This can be done by pausing the game (by pressing the awkwardly-placed ‘Start’ button on the Move motion controller); the level can then be explored by scrolling the camera around and zooming the view in.
The Lemmings’ various abilities are: Digger (go straight down), Miner (dig a tunnel down at an angle), Thumper (tunnel straight through a wall), Climber (scale a flat, vertical wall), Builder (build a ramp slating upwards), Floater (use an umbrella as a parachute), Bomber (explodes after a 5-second countdown) and Blocker (stops other Lemmings from walking off cliff edges or into water or other hazards) and these will be familiar to Lemmings veterans. New features include darkened areas that only become lit when the first Lemming passes by a torch, as is the cloning machine that replicates every Lemming that passes by it. Teleports may have been in some previous iteration of Lemmings, and are used quite a bit in this version. The 45 levels range in difficulty from Trial training levels through Fun, Tricky, Taxing and Mayhem.
Lemmings is still probably as much of a Marmite game as it ever was, with some people falling for its cute, simple and addictive charms instantly while others never really 'get it' at all. As accurate as it is (as long as you don't have shaky hands) Move compatibility really adds nothing, and timing critical operations is just as tricky as it ever was with keyboard & mouse or joypad.
Overall I’d say this is a pretty good little compilation of modern and classic puzzlers for the price (around £20) that, if nothing else, will give your Move motion controller a bit of a workout, I’m just not convinced this is what Move was designed for, or what it does best.
- Three very different and very clever games.
- Move control adds a new slant.
- Definitely not a compilation for adrenaline junkies.