Firmly routed in the puzzle game category, Germinator pits you as a germ controller who rather than taking Domestos to the icky little blighters, allows you to force them to burst by feeding them… themselves.
Basically you are firing round germs into the play area, and when they meet another germ of the same colour they merge. Do this repeatedly and they expand till they burst, and this is how you clear the screen, as the exploding coloured germs take away the really nasty black/grey germs called Gummies.
To be brutally honest at first play it screams Puzzle Bobble (aka Bust A Move) at you and seems to play like an upside down version of all those bubble popping clones of the original. However to write it off as a simple clone would be an injustice. The fact that the germs merge to form bigger versions introduces a new tactical thinking requirement as if they get to the larger size without bursting, it could be game over as they touch the top of the play area (the play area still moves up even though you are firing from the top).
Also it possible once you have a super-meter, on the left of the screen, filled to super power the next germ being sent in, which depending on the colour gives it an extra power – red germs explode rather than pop. A super-blue absorbs germs touching it, getting huge before popping, while greens take out all of the other greens within an area around it when it pops. Super yellows have a sideways blast emanating out at pop while purples super power is to cut through anything in their path until they hit another purple.
There are obstructions and hazards dotted around such as capsules that might as well be germ activated TNT, a deflector which bounces germs back off it, and spikes which spike any germs that get too close to burst them instantly.
So to be fair, yes it it is a derivative of the Puzzle Bobble gameplay you may have seen hundreds of times, but here is enough new ideas and twists to give it a massive advantage over the pure clones. Plus it is a better game than Puzzle Bobble/Bust A Move 2 in my opinion, and my two youngest boys can’t put it down.
£8 for the Vita version does seem a little steep to be honest, but at £12 for both the Vita and PS3 versions is decent, especially as you can continue where you left off on the other machine, though I couldn’t test that as I only have it on the Vita.
One minor issue was that even though it’s listed as multiplayer on Playstation store, and there is a one-on-one battle mode, it only appears to be against a CPU player and I can’t find a multiplayer function? All in all though great fun!
At A Glance
- Title: Germinator
- Publisher: Creat Studios
- System: PS Vita
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: No (discount bundle available with PS3 version)
- Cross Play: Yes
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 363Mb