Every so often, a game comes along with a title that is so strange that you end up buying it out of curiosity more than anything else just to find out what it is all about even without finding anything about the game in the first place. Super Brain Eat 3 from TACS Games is one of those and at the almost giveaway price of just 40 pence I couldn’t really say no…
First, don’t ask what happened to the first two Super Brain Eat games as that is a complete mystery to me and no reference is made to them on TACS Games’ website. Whether the title is a joke reference to the countless sequels that games seem to have these days I don’t know, but for now I’ll forget about that. Anyway, onto the plot and it revolves around the central character of Gutsy… you take control of him as he traverses a series of mazes where he has to wander around eating hearts and brains (I kid you not) while avoiding traps and jelly monsters that are chasing after him. It’s not all bad though as – to make things a little easier – there are potions you can pick up along the way that will give you temporary invincibility or allow you to shoot back at the monsters stopping them dead in their tracks.
Sound slightly familiar? It should do as SBE3 is basically a revamped version of Pac Man with a twist. The mazes themselves don’t follow the same design as Pac Man – they are more complex in design and the screen scrolls as you move around them, there are several spawning points for the monsters around the mazes and once you have eaten all the hearts and brains you have to return to your starting point before you can proceed to the next maze but at its heart it is still the same classic Pac Man gameplay (okay, the old yellow pill-popping hero didn’t have to avoid getting skewered but that’s beside the point!).
What that means with SBE3 is that it’s incredibly easy to pick up and play, to figure out and get into and if you ever loved the original that inspired it, you’ll love this. It’s simple but that means that it’s not bogged down with a drawn-out plot or game mechanics allowing you to just get on an enjoy the game. Visually, it is fairly basic with an 8-bit / early 16-bit look (I’d say leaning more towards a homebrew 16-bit feel) and sound is little more than a piece of title music and squelchy sounds effects as you eat while you play. Nothing spectacular but that’s understandable considering the company themselves…
While there are a lot of developers out there supporting Playstation Mobile, it has to be said that TACS Games are the most prolific right now with six games available at the time of writing and more on the way. This is even more impressive when you realise that they are all developed by one person – Thomas Hopper – who is responsible for the programming, graphics and sound on all of their games! Thomas’ work reminds me of the 8-bit era when a large number of published commercial games were written by a one-man team from home at the dawn of the games industry and if it wasn’t for people like Thomas back then, we wouldn’t have the industry that we have today.
While I have to applaud the work he is doing on Playstation Mobile, I have to say that none of his games – including this one – are perfect. They are a little rough around the edges at times and either lack in-game instructions (as in the case of Super Brain Eat 3) or lack polish or other important in-game information or content. Upon loading SBE3, apart from the initial logo screen, there is no reference to TACS Games, no instructions, no credits, copyright notice, on-screen release date or little else – it’s all very basic and players are left to figure out the game, and its controls, for themselves.
Despite the flaws in the presentation, this is a great fun game and at the price there is no reason why this shouldn’t be a part of your collection. It takes up next to no space on your memory card, costs less than a packet of crisps and will give you more than enough gaming fun for your money. A must have purchase for retro gaming fans.
At A Glance
- Title: Super Brain Eat 3
- Publisher: TACS Games
- System: Playstation Mobile
- Format: PSN Download
- Cross Buy: No
- Cross Play: No
- Online Multiplayer: No
- Memory Card Space Needed: 8Mb