Platforms: PlayStation Vita
Genre: Puzzle Platform Played: PlayStation Vita
Games such as Surge Deluxe aren’t types I usually play. Surge Deluxe is ported to the Vita from the PlayStation Mobile version released a while back so when I meant I don’t play games like Surge often, I meant mobile games in general. IOS, Android, PS Mobile; it’s not a platform that really interests me at all. It’s not a knock on the platform, the developers or the players but Mobile gaming has never done it for me.
That said, I enjoyed Surge Deluxe quite a bit and could easily recommend it to people. And that’s quite a statement from the guy who last went on the App Store when the original N.O.V.A came out.
Surge Deluxe is a puzzle game pure and simple with the aim being to join up all the colours using the Vita’s front touchscreen. Using your finger, you’ll link up colour coordinated blocks to get points and beat high scores. It’s really straightforward, just match the right colours as many times as you can without touching any of the other colours. You’ve got to be quick and precise which starts to get really fun as the game moves forward. The more challenges you complete, the higher the difficulty gets and it really tests your ability to think quick. Pressure builds and builds quick.
You’re constantly fighting against the clock in Surge Deluxe. As I said, pressure builds both figuratively speaking and literally. On the sides of the screen are two vents which build with pressure and act as the game’s timer. You have to match all the colour tiles before the vent’s pressure builds all the way up. If that happens then it’s game over. To beat the vents you can either match up all the tiles which makes way for pressure release or you can do it manually by pressing them to release the energy.
Surge Deluxe gets really intense when it gets going but that in itself is part of the problem. It gets challenging yes, but you have to be playing for quite a long time to get to the part where the difficulty ramps up. Before that you’ll have to play through the earlier levels which are just a little bit too easy which is off-putting if you’re looking for a challenge straight away. It’s nice the game eases you into itself in a very simple and concise way but Surge is at its best when it’s hard and you understandably want to be challenged right away. Especially with a fast-paced puzzle game.
Surge doesn’t just employ the standard, colour based tiles as players will be introduced to power-up tiles which will increase your score or link a circuit. This further adds to the challenge when you eventually get to it. This special tiles can either take the pressure off you for when they allow you to link your tiles to reach a high score but they can also lead you to doom. Some of the tiles will cycle colours so if you’re trying to match blue tiles and you head through a special and it turns orange then you’ll have to start over from scratch.
As much as I liked playing Surge, I didn’t necessarily enjoy looking at it. Sure, the colours make it look very bright and nice, especially on the Vita’s beautiful OLED screen. The problem is that the actual layout and atheistic of the game just looks really dry and bland. It looks almost cyberpunk but without the oomph.
There’s also a second mode in Surge Deluxe called Puzzle Mode which is thankfully much more challenging than the normal mode. You’re given a very high score to beat and it’s up to you to figure out how you beat it. You have to meld speed with quick thinking to be able to beat that high score. Why this level of difficulty doesn’t arrive earlier in the normal mode is a mystery but if you want a challenge quickly then Puzzle Mode is right up your alley.
Surge Deluxe is very similar to a lot of mobile games out there but it does what it does quite a bit better than most of them. Surge Deluxe takes longer than it should to get challenging outside of Puzzle Mode but when it does start to get difficult then you as the player are pushed right to your limits mentally. You have to be quick and precise with Surge because being slow and clumsy will just obliterate your scores. When you do fail, it’ll be your fault. Surge Deluxe gives the player everything they need to succeed here but it’s all down to skill.
+ Fast paced, puzzle action.
+ Gets addicting.
+ Tense Puzzle Mode.
– Bland presentation.
– Challenge arrives too late in Normal Mode.
– Normal Mode can become obsolete after playing Puzzle Mode.