Game Review: Frobisher Says! (PS Vita)

Frobisher Says! is probably one of the most unusual games I have ever seen… on any format ever! That’s saying a lot for someone who has been playing games for well over 30 years, but Frobisher Says! is one of the most refreshing and original games I have ever seen – and even better, it’s free!

It’s hard to know where to start to describe this game without making it sound strange or putting people off from downloading it because on paper (or on screen) it sounds absolutely awful. Basically, the game centres around a character, Frobisher, who gives you instructions throughout the game telling you to perform various weird and wonderful tasks through a series of mini games. These make full use of the Vita’s capabilities – both touch screens, front and rear cameras, the motion sensors, both left and right sticks, the microphone – every function of the console you could possibly imagine. The games themselves… well, using surreal cartoon graphics and animation you could be asked to do almost anything – draw a face on an egg, scratch Frobisher’s back using the rear touch pad, steer a train carrying a cake towards Frobisher so he can plunge his face into it… you can start to get the idea!

Controls are simple enough and quick to follow and there are on-screen instructions for each and every game. As each mini-game only lasts for around 30 seconds if there are any that you don’t particularly like it won’t be long before you’re taken to the next and you’ll be scored depending on how well you do or how fast you do whatever Frobisher asks. Each game will give you a set of random tasks to accomplish selected from those you have on your Vita (from the selection in the free version or the additional games in the two expansion packs) and at the end you can upload your score to the PlayStation Network.

There’s no online mode, but you can play with up to 8 people locally by passing the Vita from one player to the next and whether you’re playing a one player or multiplayer game it’s strangely compelling. Some of the games are absurd but still addictive and with the random nature of the levels you’ll keep coming back to see what comes next. Not all of the games are available to start so you’ll want to keep playing to see whether you unlock anything new, and some are only revealed after you have played for a certain amount of time.

Frobisher himself is constantly making what can only be described as odd comments throughout the game which just add to the weird nature of the game, but it’s never weird in a bad way. After a while, if you do find yourself tiring of the levels that are included, there are two sets of additional levels offered from the PSN store taking the total up to 68 mini-games and both cost just over £1 each making this game an absolute steal.

If you’re looking for something completely original and a game that will have you smiling, laughing and wondering what on earth is going on, but at the same time having more fun than you will have had on a games console for a long time, then look no further. This is one of the best downloads for the PS Vita and a game you won’t regret getting.

Simon Plumbe

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