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Surge Review

The PlayStation's Mobile network yet again shows itself to be the perfect place to launch small and simple ideas onto the mass market and whilst these are not the AAA blockbusters that take up hundreds of thousands of sales, the majority are still enjoyable games that will whittle away short periods of time.

Surge is the ideal puzzle game for the small portable touchscreens that the Sony phones and Vita offers, simple in its execution and downright nasty in its gameplay. On either side of the screen are bars that build in pressure, slowly creeping up the sides, if they fill up and hit the top it is game over. Alongside these bars are vents running along the side of each pressure bar, with the general idea to touch them to release some pressure, which then lowers and slows down the ever raising bars. However these vents are covered up by coloured blocks, with your job being to use your finger to draw a line between corresponding colours to remove them, then unblocking the vents for release. That's the basics on how to survive but to get the high scores you need to play with a bit more thought, like clearing vents on opposite sides earns a points boost for that colour or using the many special blocks to your advantage like the score multipliers, switchers that change colour every few seconds, bombs that take out all of the same colour on the screen and wildcards that will become whatever colour connected to and finally the frenzy, which once connected to turns all standard block to one colour allowing for quick clearance of the screen, all adding to your overall score on the online leaderboards.

The difficulty coasts along at a nice pace to start with and does not really up the challenge until around level 14, where the pressure builds a lot quicker and the layout of the blocks becomes harder to make those vent clearing combinations, really engaging you in the quick thinking puzzle action, splitting your focus from gauges, colours to link and also vents to tap free. It is here that the challenge really ups itself, with every second counting and every completed level making you feel like you have been put through an insane amount of pressure, taking a deep breath before the next level loads up and it starts all over again.

Surge is an enjoyable title with some lovely neon looks that burst off the screen and the music is decent enough, a techno ambient track that's not as catchy as other puzzlers. Sadly it's the size of the screen that makes it a little too hard to play, especially with the pressure bars building up on each side, they are tiny even on a Vita screen so how this looks on the smaller mobile screen I can't really comment on but it will surely effect gameplay. The copy reviewed was on the Sony Vita 3G and not having felt the need to top up the 3G for a while I came across a terrible bug that not only affects the game, but any other game you play after without a hard reset, with the game crashing constantly and removing all touch screen functions from this title and all others loaded up after it. It worked fine around a Wi-Fi connection so thankfully the solution was simply turning the airplane mode on the Vita, with the game no longer searching for an internet connection it resolved the issue.

Surge is a fun little puzzle time waster with online leaderboards, keeping it simple and addictive, constantly pulling you in for just one more go: if you are into score attack games against your mates this is worth a few quid asking price.

Words by Ash Buchanan.

(Version Tested: PS Vita / PlayStation Mobile)


- Quick thinking block busting action
- Great touch screen gaming
- Online leaderboards


- Best played on larger screens
- Annoying bug (can be rectified easily enough)

Edited On 03 Jan, 2013

( 1 )
Anonymous user's avatar
Brett 4 years ago
gave it a play, quite good but still quite limited. could do with a price cut

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