Game Review: Fuel Tiracas (PlayStation Mobile)

Keeping in line with the trend of offering affordable games for the PlayStation Mobile platform, Fuel Tiracas is a puzzle game developed by British developer FuturLab and is probably one of the cheapest games you will ever see for the PS Vita, but more about that later…

One of the first games released to coincide with the launch of the PlayStation Mobile gaming platform, Fuel Tiracas is a frantic futuristic puzzle game that’s quick and easy to pick up but incredibly difficult to put down. As with most games, there’s an obligatory story behind the game but to be honest once you start playing it’s not something you’ll be particularly concerned about and it has no real impact on the game itself. The game is set on the planet Tiracas, an outpost bereft of any natural atmosphere, and you’ve been tasked with using the planet’s natural resources to fuel giant planetary atmoshperic generators.

What you have to do is collect fuel cells by using the PS Vita’s touch screen and touching one of six fuel pods on the screen as they light up to fill the corresponding fuel tank until it reaches a target level on the fuel gauge. However, you need to make sure that all the fuel tanks you are filling are balanced (with different colours, of course!), so you need to swap between them as you play. The gauge drops continually as you play and you need to react quickly to tap each pod before the fuel disappears and in later levels you will need to tap multiple pods simultaneously or avoid pods that drain fuel from your tanks.

Sounds simple? Well it’s not as easy as it sounds as the fuel pods light up at random and they are thrown at you as fast as you can handle them so you need lightning-quick reactions to keep up with the pace. At the same time, you need to keep an eye on the fuel gauges so you make sure that you don’t run low on fuel in a particular gauge or you end up with a heavy imbalance. It’s fast, frantic but above all else, fun and incredibly addictive! When playing this to write the review I made the mistake of letting my 12-year old daughter play the game… and then literally had to pry the PS Vita out of her hands a considerable amount of time later, much to her annoyance… and insistance that she now wants a Vita as well!

This is one of those games that has a very simple idea to it, is executed well and takes a no-frills approach to the game. It uses the Vita’s touch screen well (and not as a gimmick like so many games seem to at the moment) the graphics are functional but don’t detract from the game in any way, but it’s something that you know you’ll keep coming back to if not for long periods of time, but for a quick casual game every now and then.

Although the game only has 12 levels, the completely random nature of the illumination of the pods and the constant challenge of beating your best time for completing each level will have you wanting to return. What is significant, and I hinted about this at the start, ignoring the titles that are free to play, this is the cheapest game available to-date for the PlayStation Mobile platform with a ridiculously low selling price of just £0.40 and whether you only play this a few times or it becomes one of your favourite of all the PlayStation Mobile titles, at that price you can’t pass this one up.

Simon Plumbe

At A Glance

  • Title: Fuel Tiracas
  • Publisher: FuturLab
  • System: PlayStation Mobile
  • Format: PSN Download
  • Cross Buy: No
  • Online Multiplayer: No
  • Memory Card Space Needed: 44Mb
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