Each mini-game is high on novelty value, and each one promises to be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, this promise isn’t always fulfilled. Some of the games are entertaining but ultimately disposable – the sort of thing you wouldn’t mind paying 69p for on an iPhone, but soon sits abandoned on a screen jammed with apps.
Others are frustrating, either because the challenge level is set too high, or because you have to manage too many unintuitive motions at one time, or just because the controls aren’t really precise enough to cope as the difficulty level ramps up. Little Deviants has silver and gold rewards for achieving higher scores but it’s rare to find yourself chasing them. You’re either already tired of the game in question, or you simply can’t face replaying it once you have the bronze in the bag.
What’s worse, the more you play the more the mini-games become tired variations on a theme. Ideas that seem fresh and interesting to begin with pall as they’re reintroduced in a different skin.
It’s a shame, because in many respects it’s a very polished launch title that displays a certain amount of imagination. The design of the deviants, robots and monsters, while reminiscent of the kind of self-consciously blocky, cartoon stuff you’ve seen in a thousand iPhone games, is nicely done, and the bright, clean-edged visuals do a fantastic job of showing off the semi-HD resolution of the Vita’s beautiful 5-inch OLED screen.
Like so many novelty mini-game compilations before it, Little Deviants struggles because the novelty is more compelling than the gameplay, and – as we all know – novelty has a nasty way of wearing off.
If it were a cheap download Little Deviants would be worth purchasing as a great little showcase of all the fun stuff PS Vita can do. Even at a budget price, however, it’s just not fun enough to justify the outlay. While some of the mini-games might keep family and friends entertained while you show off your new handheld, it’s a game that will soon be left, forlorn and forgotten, on a screen full of more appealing Vita apps.