Game: “3D Twist & Match”
iOS games have cleverly been snapped up and replicated on the PSP of late. Sony has taken the initiative in bringing popular titles over from the iPhone and Android such as Angry Birds and making them available via the PSN as Minis. This allows the games to be played on the bus or train and save the battery on the phone; after all, most Smartphones have a terrible battery life. Instead of fighting against the growth of mobile games, Sony is embracing it.
Enter 3D Twist & Match. This simple puzzle game has one aim: to match randomly generated objects with the silhouette behind. This sounds straight forward on its own; however, as the game has the little “3D” word in the title, it’s not as easy as you think. Using the analogue pad items are rotated 90 degrees, the shoulder buttons are used to turn the object either clockwise or counter clockwise. Once matched, another object appears and you repeat the process.
3D Twist & Match has three main modes: Classic, Rush & Practice. In classic mode the objective is to match as many items in the time given and points are awarded for the speed in which this is completed. Rush mode is more challenging, this time you have seconds to complete each puzzle before the game moves on, as practice mode sounds it’s where players head to well practice and get used to the control system of the game.
3D Twist is a port of the popular iOS game and whilst it well suited to the iOS, the fact that it’s been ported to the PSP shows. The graphics are not up to titles developed only for the PSP, with the imagery more suited for the original PlayStation than a portable device that’s more powerful than home consoles released a decade ago. The soundtrack certainly isn’t a Koji Kondo or John Williams piece, if anything it’s more suited for a time when basic MIDI sounds were as good as it got. Getting to grips with the controls aren’t nearly as easy as swiping your finger in the direction you want to twist the object as found in the mobile version.
Even with the bland graphics, the game is simple and effective enough to keep players hooked; however, it’s not a long term addiction. If played on the train on the way home from work it would definitely make the commute go that much faster but outside of a travelling scenario the game the longevity of the game comes into question. It quickly becomes stale and would be put down quickly if trying to play for hours on end.
For the most part, iOS games are intended to be played in small doses on a fairly small screen The translation between mobile device and handheld device has made the title loose it’s way. Unlike games like Angry Birds, where there’s a goal and something constantly pushing you forward; yet, with 3D Twist, once the items are matched up there’s nothing left than to play it again and try and be a bit faster.
3D Twist and Match is only 22Mb in size so it will not be filling up much memory on the PSP and for the price paid, you cannot really moan. It is fun while it lasts however it becomes repetitive if played for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Sanuk Games have created something that has the potential to be a great miniature game on the PSP however as it is a direct port from an iOS game the game feels rushed and not executed to the standard of the handheld platform. If a little more time was spent on refining the game it would bring it from a good little game in short bursts to a must own.