Futurelab has come out with a new puzzle game for the Vita, that involves music and colours, lots and lots of colours.
Surge Deluxe is a game that was originally a mobile title that is now available on the Vita and like a mobile title it is controlled through the touch screen. Like many puzzle games the aim is to connect two or more blocks of the same colour, in this case by drawing a line between them with your finger. The blocks don’t need to be physically connected you just need to be able to draw a line between them that isn’t obstructed by other blocks of a different colour.
That takes care of the easy to learn part but what about the part of the phrase that is applied to many a puzzle game like this one and says that it is hard to master? It turns out that the blocks are keeping some sort of valve system from working and you can only release the pressure. Not only does releasing a valve buy you more time but any block sharing the colour of the valve that you just opened is worth twice as many points to you as before. There are also blocks that rather than have a colour perform a special function, like the ability to link two different colours together.
There are two modes, one where you play through the levels and try to build up your high score and one in which you attempt to solve the layout that you are given in a way that gives you the highest score. Out of these two modes my favourite is the puzzle mode, I know that we may have long since passed by the time when the phrase “easy to learn, difficult to master” has become a beaten dead horse but it is true of the game, and it is easiest to see this in Surge Deluxe’s puzzle mode. It reminds me of a resource management game in which the resources available to the player almost don’t matter as much as the ability of the player to recognize which of those resources need to be used first and how to manage your time while doing so. It isn’t enough to simply clear a screen of all the blocks present; you have to clear the screen the right way.
In terms of aesthetic, well have you ever wondered what it would look like if someone took the visual presentation and music of a techno club? All the colours of the light effects and the block themselves are very bright and vibrant and they stand out nicely against the dark, cool, steely look that you find in the background and menu of the game.
The result is nice and it really lends itself to a game which has the name Surge. The music is simple and energetic, which is good for the gamer who likes to binge this sort of game and doesn’t want to get put off by music that could become irritating before you’re even halfway through your play session. I know that in such an event the player could just turn the sound off but the sounds a player hears during a game will affect their experience playing it and I think that it is an important element to get right.
Surge Deluxe is currently going for £3.99 on the UK PSN and that is a good price for it. The simple game play, the electric visuals and the energetic music are all things that I enjoyed, that and the quick pace all worked together to keep the experience fun.
We received a review code for Surge Deluxe. All opinions are honest and of the minds of the Paranerds.com staff.