We all have our dreams in life that we want to achieve – places we want to go, items we want to own, things that we want to do, and career paths that we ultimately want to take in life. And that’s where the story starts in A Bad Oppera-tunity. Seeing a street advert for singers, our oddly-shaped hero decides to try his hand at becoming the next operatic superstar but very quickly learns that he’s not the world’s greatest singer… in fact, it’s quite the opposite and he’s rapidly booed off stage but like any trooper you’ve decided that the show MUST go on and you flatly refuse to give in to your critics…
What follows is an incredibly simplistic game, intended for quick gaming sessions as most casual games are for PlayStation Mobile. It’s a single screen affair with the unnamed character standing on a stage in his tuxedo, and hurtling towards him at random are tomatoes being thrown from off-stage. Using the touch screen you simply have to move him out of the way by placing your finger on top of him and then dragging him around. The longer you last, the higher you score, and this can also be boosted by collection coins that you have earned during your performance. It’s game over when you get hit by three tomatoes bringing your short-lived career to an abrupt end!
Sadly, it’s the simplicity of the controls which is also the game’s main drawback. When using your finger to move your character around the screen to collect the coins and safely traverse the stage, your finger understandably creates a “blind spot” where a portion of the screen is obscured. You are left with little choice but to hope that, as you navigate the screen, that nothing is heading towards you under where your finger is otherwise you’re heading for an early and very messy demise. It’s difficult enough when using a PS Vita so I can’t imagine what it would be like when playing on a smaller PlayStation Certified mobile phone. The only devices that I think would cope well would be larger tablets.
However, as I quickly found out, there is a simple workaround… as we’ve already covered elsewhere on the site, the PS Vita is able to make use of styluses that are designed to be used with mobile phones and tablets that use capacititive touch screens and these can be picked up for as little as £1 each (such as the Signalex Stylus that we have previously reviewed). While it’s not an ideal solution, these can be useful for other games / apps as well and I found that when playing the game with the stylus, it was vastly improve, there was no blocked vision and it became a joy to play.
This is one of those games that you’d expect to see littering the Android market that – as I said – is intended to be picked up and played in short bursts. It’s simple, quick to pick up and play, addictive and has that same “one-more-go” appeal that you’d expect from a game of this nature. Just like endless runners, the countless Flappy Bird clones out there and other goal-less titles, all you want to do while playing is keep going and trying repeatedly to beat your personal best score no matter how many attempts it takes and it’s that approach that keeps the game surprisingly fresh.
Visually it’s quite simply with an exaggerated cartoon style for the main character and all of the graphics in the game, reminiscent of the developer’s previous PSM title Castle Invasion. While the graphics certainly won’t be remembers as being some of the best offered for a PlayStation Mobile game, they don’t need to be and they work well enough for the game. They’re clear, there are no problems with collision detection (critical for a game of this type) and everything is well presented. Sound is handled just as well. Despite its small file size, there is a wide range of music included in the game and random pieces of classical-styles instrumental pieces play during the game which fit the game perfectly, just accompanied by occasional sound effects as you grab coins or get splatted by the odd tomato or two…
I’ll be honest and say that this simply screams out for Leaderboard support and I can only hope that Sony reverses their decision to abandon support for it for PlayStation Mobile. I am aware that the developer, David Ward, is eager to add this to the game and allow players to openly challenge each other and being able to do so would add an extra element of fun to what is a simple yet challenging time-waster. Regardless, even without Leaderboards it’s a really fun game and it’s an absolute steal at the 40p price tag and you’d be mad to miss out on this one!
At A Glance
- Title: A Bad Opera-tunity
- Publisher: Imperative Games
- System: PlayStation Mobile
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: No
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Local Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 23Mb