Even in 2017, we’re still seeing new names and games pop up on the Playstation Vita. One developer that’s relatively new on the Vita scene is Sometimes You, which specializes in affordable games for those looking to add something new to their Vita collection. At two or three euros/dollars each, they’re certainly a steal. Here are five examples to see if they’re worth your money – we’re looking at Energy Balance, Energy Cycle, It’s Spring Again, NeverEnd and Save the Ninja Clan.
A puzzler that looks like it was designed for tablet/phone devices, Energy Balance presents you with grid-based puzzles filled with positive and negative numbers – color-coded so they’re easy to tell apart. Your task is to make sure you place all these numbered tiles in the right spots so that their sums match the required number for every row and column.
Of course, this is easier said than done, which you’ll quickly discover when the spare numbers you have left near the end don’t match what you need – meaning you have to reorganize the grid once more. It’s definitely a game for people with patience and some affinity for numbers, but worth it for those who do. It might be a tablet/phone type of application, but if you don’t play games on those devices then this is a welcome Vita title.
Similar in title and approach to Energy Balance, Energy Cycle is also a grid-based puzzler. Math skills aren’t required here, as you alternate individual lights on a grid to try and change all the lights on the grid to the same color. The catch? All of the lights in the same row and column will change along with them.
It’s one of those games where you feel like you’ve played it before, and levels can get repetitive. It’s popular among trophy hunters though, since my trophy list showed that over 96% of players have earned a platinum trophy for the game. I was impressed since the game is quite challenging, until I learned that there’s a glitch that people use to get to this achievement. If you’re interested in trophies then this is a great game for you – otherwise Energy Balance is the more brain-stimulating puzzler of the bunch.
It’s Spring Again
Perhaps the best title in the list, it’s also the one with the most limited target audience. It’s Spring Again is targeted at young children (age range 2-5) and teaches them about the seasons. You can have the game running on full auto, where it just goes through the seasons while excellent narration runs along with it – or you can have your youngster take a more active route, utilizing touch controls to make it rain, make leaves fall and make plants grow.
It’s Spring Again is a great title for young children, who otherwise have very few reasons to ever engage with a Playstation Vita. If your kids aren’t hooked on a tablet yet, then It’s Spring Again is the best way I’ve seen so far to introduce them to the Playstation Vita, the seasons of the year and touch screen controls – all in one!
Possibly my least favorite of the games on offer is NeverEnd, a game somewhat similar to The Binding of Isaac but with extremely clunky combat controls, no story development and a graphic style (block-based) that wasn’t my cup of tea. Death comes often and quickly, and I didn’t get the roguelike sense of progression that I’ve had with other games – causing me to lose interest in exploring the game’s (randomly generated) dungeons. Perhaps it’s just too difficult a title for me, and a better match for those who enjoy a punishingly hard difficulty level.
Save the Ninja Clan
Also available on Xbox One and PS4, Save the Ninja Clan is possibly the most “mainstream” title on the Vita from Sometimes you. It’s a platformer and speed runner that also happens to be quite tough – queue a Super Meat Boy reference here.
Fairly standard in its approach to difficult platformers, the unique element in Save the Ninja Clan is that you can use throwing knives not just to defeat your enemies, but also to serve as mini-platforms when you start on them after they get stuck in a wall.
Items can be upgraded, ‘best times’ matter and it’s one of those games where you fail often but constantly retain the idea that “you can do this!” At its price point of not even three euros/dollars, this is a total steal for anyone who enjoys games like Super Meat Boy.