Game Review: Surge (PlayStation Mobile)

Indie developer FuturLab have returned again to the PlayStation Mobile platform to deliver another helping of frantic puzzle action. Not satisfied with sending everyone into a state of frenzy with Fuel Tiracas, they have now unleashed their latest game, Surge onto an unsuspecting audience so we decided to take a closer look…

Looking at the screens here, the game seems simple enough but I’ll get the plot out of the way first – a new energy source has been developed granting an incredible amount of electrical energy for the human race but with one adverse side effect – a heavy build up of by-products that need to be disposed of rather quickly. Sounds like a failed and somewhat suspect nuclear power station to me and one that should be avoided at all costs, but that’s no doubt the plot for another game altogether…!

Anyway, what you have to do is clear this by-product out of the way by dragging a powerful electrical surge towards it (no, it doesn’t make sense to me either) and making surge that you can keep the pressure levels of the power station in check by venting the system if it gets too close to overloading. It’s a rather convoluted plot for what really is a simple and fun game. On the main game screen there are randomly assorted coloured blocks (the by-product). Draw lines between them using the touch screen so you connect two or more of the same colour together. Once you manage that, it destroys them. Clear them all to complete the level.

At the sides of the screen you have a pressure gauge slowly building. This can be released by touching one of the pressure vents at the edge of the screen. These can only be used when there is nothing obstructing it or the identical vent on the opposite side of the screen. Once they are both clear, press both and pressure will be relieved. As you progress, bonuses and special features will be added to the blocks enabling you to collect bonus points, randomly changing coloured blocks, explosive blocks that will remove every block of the same colour you connect to it and more.

This is exactly the sort of puzzle game I love – simple, fast and fun to play and one that you can just pick up and have a quick couple of games any time without having to sit down for an elongated gaming session. Too many games today are dependent on players being able to spend hours in front of their consoles – and even using the PS Vita – so games that allow this sort of bitesized gameplay always scores well with me. Sounds is pretty good and while the graphics certainly aren’t the best I’ve seen on the Mobile format so far, they work well enough for the game and I’d hardly say that it needs it elaborate visuals anyway. The most important thing with this game is that it’s compelling, addictive, blindlingly fast on the later levels to the point that you will breathe a sigh of relief when you destroy the last block on each level!

A great game and certainly offering great value for money. This is another sure-fire winner for FuturLab and a must-have download for puzzle addicts.

Simon Plumbe

At A Glance

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

Official developer website: http://www.futurlab.co.uk

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