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PS Vita Game Review

Son of Scoregasm


Format: PS Vita
Publisher: Charlie's Games
Developer: Charlie's Games
RRP: £5.97
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Age Restrictions: 3+
Release Date: 12 October 2017

In the area of handhelds both the PSP and the VITA had the power to make them attractive to both the homebrew community and to independent games programmers.

Son of Scoregasm by Charlie Knight is a slick little top down shooter indie game for the VITA. Your mission is to rescue the King of Earth’s biscuit, and it’s not a euphemism. The game comes with two difficulty levels, normal and expert, one is a challenge, the other insane.

Review imageIt's a two-stick shooter and is an infuriating game, in a clever way. Over its twenty-eight levels you need to destroy the waves of brightly coloured ships sent to destroy you. Coordination is only part of the gameplay, as your ship has a pulse barrier which will destroy incoming ships, which is central to your success and not a weapon of last ditch panic. When they are destroyed the ships drop orbs, which you must pick up as they act as score multipliers, otherwise any ships you destroy with your gun will not count much towards your final score.

Immediately there is a trade off against using the pulses shield, which only recharges slowly, or shoot ships to protect yourself even if it means no high score. The game further complicates matters by often restricting you to only a part of the play area making for a fast and frantic experience.

The game has medals for achieving specific scores and online leaderboards for rankings, so, like me you can see just how poor you are at the game. These two elements add a great deal of competition which will drive replayability. Add to this the nonlinear progression which allows for different paths through the game and you have a challenge which you can play for either twenty minutes or two hours, depending on your level of masochism.

Review imageThere is a good variety between the levels and the twin sticks are extremely responsive. The gameplay mechanics are well designed and the nonlinear nature of the game means that it offers seven different endings.

For someone who started their gaming with Jeff Minter games, its good to see that small independents can still thrive in the age of AAA titles. Overall, the game is going to drive you mad, but it’s this challenge which will have you coming back again and again.


Charles Packer

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