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Surge Deluxe Review

With so many big titles fighting for supremacy and your cash it is often the little games that get missed; even when they are miniature gems of addictive gameplay created by small groups of dedicated gamers with a single goal. Futurlab are one such of those design teams, a small group of likeminded souls who have released some "retro" looking, but very addictive titles; their two most notable to date being Velocity and Surge on for the PlayStation's mobile network. Rather sensibly last year they released an updated version of Velocity on the PS Vita and now it is the turn of Surge with Surge Deluxe.

The original Surge was the ideal puzzle game for the small portable touchscreen that the Sony phones and Vita offer, with it being simple in its execution and downright nasty in its gameplay and the deluxe version is just as good. The action takes place on one screen; where on either side are bars that build in pressure, slowly creeping up that if they fill up and hit the top it is game over. Alongside these are vents that run up each pressure bar, with the general idea to touch them to release some pressure, which then slows down and lowers the bars. The sticking point is that these vents are covered up by coloured blocks, with your job being then to use your finger to draw a line between corresponding colours to remove them, thus unblocking the vents for release. These are 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 will earn a points boost for that colour or utilizing 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, wildcards that will become whatever colour they are connected to and finally the frenzy, which once connected to turns all the blocks to one colour for a short period allowing for quick clearance of the screen, all adding to your overall score on the online leaderboards.

The difficulty has been noticeably increased from the previous game, with the pressure building up a lot quicker, but to help out there are more frequent occurrences of the special blocks, keeping your eyes glued to the screen looking for those screen clearing connections

Aside from the main score challenge mode there is also a new puzzle mode included with Surge Deluxe, offering a selection of premade puzzles to link the blocks and earn the highest possible score by using multipliers and the special blocks to their maximum potential.

Visually, Surge Deluxe has been a given new sheen, somehow making those neon blocks even prettier. I will also note that my previous gripes with the gameplay pausing seems to have been totally removed, making for a much smoother and fraught experience when competing against the clock.

Surge Deluxe is a great update of an already addictive game, with it being a fun score based block basher that is simple and addictive and a decent time waster, constantly urging you for just one more go. If you are into score attack games against your mates this is worth the few quid asking price.

Words by Ash Buchanan.
(Version tested: PS Vita)


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

Surge Deluxe arrives February 4 in the US and February 5 in Europe for $4.99/€4.99/£3.99.

Edited On 04 Feb, 2014

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