I have a bit of a love hate relationship with my PS Vita, I love the fact that there are some great games on there, being able to have with me wherever I go and its even great for passing it over to the kids to keep them quiet for a few minutes here and there, but there are also times where I have little love for my little games machine, could Sparkle 2 catch my eye and make me feel the love again?
Sparkle 2, developed by 10tons is your classic simple, but addictive puzzle game. The objective of the game is to match the different coloured orbs together to make them disappear, with the aim of completing the level before the orbs progress too far. Now I know what you are thinking, that’s sounds an awful lot like Zuma right? Wrong, as Sparkle 2 has a story, throughout the ninety levels you’ll need to collect 5 hidden keys that will reveal a great secret. As you progress through the game you’ll visit different locations to play each level. A narrator will attempt to guide you through the story but I lost interest in it so quickly I felt a bit sorry for him, if the game was more complicated I may have felt more compelled to listen but do you really need a story to get you through such a simple concept?
As you play the levels you’ll quickly start to build combos into your shots, sometimes getting 3 or 4 sets of colours cleared quickly, doing this will release a power-up for you to use. One example is the spark shot which sends an exploding ball out when you shoot covering a further distance, whereas the ‘Colour Splash’ upgrade will turn 7 or 8 balls to the same colour making it much easier to clear the level. I came across at least another 6 powerups during my playthrough but they all essentially do something to help you. As you complete levels you’ll earn experience towards upgrades that allow you to make orbs fly through the air faster or give you the ability to slow the game down but make levels last longer, they are nice little touches but they are nothing special. You also unlock two other games modes, Survival and Challenge
The game is completely controlled via the Vita’s touchscreen, all you need to is touch the screen where you want the ball to end up and hey presto it does exactly as its told. If you prefer to use the sticks on the Vita you can but I found it much harder to be accurate. Graphically there is nothing special about this game and the soundtrack is pretty standard too, as you get closer to failing a level the music become more dramatic to make things tenser for you. Sparkle 2 is available on Cross-buy so if you have a PlayStation 4 there will be a copy for you there, we have only been able to test the PSVita version which is probably the best way to play it.
Sparkle 2 is a nice puzzle game for those who want a quick game of something to pass the time, it gets challenging at stages but it won’t take long to get through the levels. Survival & Challenge mode are both good fun and give you a nice break from the story mode. It will no doubt sit on my Vita for a while and I can see my kids happily playing this for hours.
MLG Rating: 6/10 Format: PlayStation 4 / PlayStation Vita Release Date: 20/05/2014
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a copy of Sparkle 2 by the publisher for review purposes. The title was reviewed over the course of a week on a PlayStation Vita. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.