Title: Surge Deluxe
Price: INR 300 (Digital only)
The PlayStation Mobile program allowed certain games to be played on Sony certified mobile phones and the PS-Vita. Many games started out as PSM titles and have exceeded expectations eventually. A classic case is Rymdkapsel. Futur Lab make games that ooze class. Velocity Ultra is one such game and it is now available on Steam as well but I enjoyed it on Vita the most. They had a PSM game called Surge that did well critically. Surge has been remastered and redone to be a proper Vita game in its Deluxe form. Surge Deluxe is an adrenaline pumping puzzle game that deserves a spot on your Vita home screen.
Surge Deluxe instantly stands out and looks like a classic puzzler redone for modern touchscreen devices. The game is controlled completely by touch and the premise is quite simple. You connect different blocks together by dragging a path across with no real restriction in drawing a path barring going through other coloured blocks. You aim to remove as many blocks as you can. There’s also the pressure element building up on both sides of the screen. Pressure needs to be released by tapping the vents on the edges of the screen to join the coloured paths. As with most puzzle games, there are some special blocks that either allow you to chain more blocks or multiply the score you get when you destroy them linked with a special block. There’s a lot going on in the game and Surge Deluxe eases you into it. Puzzles teach you to strategize because a level can be cleared easily but the target score is usually a lot higher than expected. As you learn to play better, the game pulls you in further.
There are two main game modes. The puzzle mode has targets set for each puzzle and you unlock the next puzzle only after clearing the previous one. The normal mode has randomly generated levels given to you one after the other and you continue to play until the time runs out or the pressure crosses the threshold. Visually, Futur Lab always hits it out of the park and while the screenshots don’t showcase the game properly, Surge Deluxe on the Vita screen is a sight to behold. The UI has also been done really well given how many things you have to keep track of while playing. There are gauges on three sides of the screen and the coloured blocks are all different shapes as well. This takes care of colourblind players and not a lot of developers bother with that kind of stuff.
The soundtrack feels like something SEGA would’ve used in the genesis era but remastered. It is catchy and is an absolute aural joy when the pressure is building up and you have your headphones on. Joris de Man of Killzone fame composed the soundtrack.
The game also features leaderboards and trophies so if you’re competitive, say goodbye to your social life after buying Surge Deluxe. The new scoring system is great for advanced players with huge rewards if you plan your strategy well. Even the menu is interactive Surges follow your touch as you drag your finger across the screen. Surge Deluxe is an absolute joy to play. Do yourself a favour and pick it up for Vita because at the price of INR 300, it is an absolute steal.