February 07, 2014

Surge Deluxe Review for PS Vita... And US Copy Giveaway! [Winners Notified!]

Futurlab, the game developer behind Velocity Ultra for the Vita, just released a redo of a mobile puzzle game from 2012. Should you pick up this mesmerizing $5 Vita title? Read the review and decide (and maybe win a free game code!)…...

We've gotten a lot of puzzle games on the Vita and they are quite varied in their styles. This review will focus on the graphics, sounds, and challenges you get when you play Surge Deluxe.

First off, take a look at the trailer for the gameplay to get an idea about what you'll be getting!

Surge Deluxe follows the pattern of an addictive puzzle game: the general premise is easy to get but getting to the top of the leaderboards with ultimate combos takes a lot of time and ultra fast reflexes.

Different colors and shapes fill either side of a screen and you drag your finger through similar shapes to get them off the screen. Simple? At first. There are combo shapes, link shapes, bomb shapes, rainbow shapes... they all help you to clear the screen and get a higher combo score. Learning how to use them properly takes some time as the first time you are introduced to a new shape it only gives you a brief overview.

Bomb is easy to understand, but being able to strategize on the fly takes quick thoughts. 

Keep an eye on pressure. Activating the colored level increases combo score, but I'm still not sure how yet!

Graphics and sounds: Simple graphics, but colorful and flashy. Getting a great combo feels like you accomplished something cool when it tells you "Cyborg!" in a cool voice. Music is appropriately techno futuristic. Sound effects alert you to pressure danger, chaining combos... it all is very immersing and helps to build the addictive nature to the game.

Modes: You've got the main mode where you can keep getting level after level to try to reach the top of the leaderboard. You've also got access to "Puzzle" levels to clear an area, but you have to reach a particular score, which forces you to maximize the special shapes and combo moves. You'll spend a lot of time here. 

The difficulty? Each time you play the normal mode, you start at the base difficulty, which is easy to do. The real difficulty comes later when time is of the essence to remove colors to reduce pressure. Even though it takes a bit of time to get there, I found myself getting drawn into the puzzles and saying, "Just a little bit longer." The satisfaction of clearing a screen with a cool combo is pretty heartening. Keeping that going is the real trick. 

Verdict: Surge Deluxe is a good addition to the Vita's puzzle genre lineup. Just don't expect more than what you see. 
7.5/10 Good fun!
You will like this game if you: 
  • enjoy a quick to learn yet difficult to master puzzle challenge
  • need a game that is perfect in bite sized chunks, and its $5 price point won't damage your wallet
  • need to get to the top of the leaderboards!
You might not like: 
  • the limited gameplay (although random shape drops and access to "power up" shapes help to make it feel varied)
Thanks to Futurlab for the review code! And the giveaway ones, as well! 

I will distribute codes via the comment section on Saturday the 8th. 

Please comment below on why you think you deserve a code to download the game! (US only, sorry!) 

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