Platform: PlayStation Vita
If it’s the job of Uncharted: The Golden Abyss and Wipeout 2048 to prove that Vita can do big, graphically-intensive console games, then it’s the job of Little Deviants to show that it’s not above quirky, casual gaming titles either. In fact, Little Deviants works best as a showcase for exactly how versatile Sony’s new handheld can be, putting the touchscreen and rear touch panel through every pinching, poking, prodding and swiping manoeuvre you can think of, while making use of the camera for some light augmented reality and throwing in some motion controls on top.
It is, of course, a mini-games compilation, and like most mini-games compilations it has a story – something about weird little aliens (the deviants) being tormented by killer robots – that’s so forgettable that you’ll have forgotten it while you’re actually watching the cut-scenes. The mini-games are divided into different areas, with new games and new areas unlocked by achieving a bronze ranking in the game before it.
There’s no question that the games are ingenious. The one you’ll have heard about before, Rolling Pastures, has you pressing a finger against the rear touch panel to deform the landscape, so that a menacing spherical deviant can roll around collecting stars and keys before heading to the exit. Others have you pushing robots from the windows of a barn or a ski resort hotel, tapping the front-screen to shove robots facing away from you, and the rear screen to shunt the ones facing front.
There are fun shooting gallery games where you blast more robots from the skies around you before they can capture your deviant chums, and a nice Pilotwings-esque affair where you tilt your Vita to steer a skydiving deviant through hoops. There’s a tilt-controlled rolling maze game, a tilt-controlled rolling take on Pac-Man, and even a game where you pilot a deviant rocket through a ghostly landscape with giant robot jaws in hot pursuit. There’s also a game where you hold the Vita vertically to fend off birds attacking a deviant’s hot air balloon, tapping the birds to blast them and running the rear panel to keep the deviant stoking the balloon. Best of all, there’s a fun game that involves pinching the front screen and rear panels together to catapult a deviant around a boxing ring crammed with monsters.