A simultaneous release on Xbox One, PS4, Playstation Vita, Nintendo Switch and PC, we’re testing Ratalaika’s Vita version of Neon Junctions – which comes bundled with the PS4 version as part of a cross-buy package.
On the surface, Neon Junctions is a first person puzzle platformer in the vein of games like Q.U.B.E. – moving and manipulating cubes to get through each level’s challenges. It’s visually reminiscent of the first Q.U.B.E. as well, although Neon Junctions is a bit more basic in terms of its presentation. Tron-like lines and colors define the cube-filled landscape here, but it’s an approach that makes a game like this technically feasible on a Playstation Vita.
There’s a tiny bit of platforming in Neon Junctions as well, but the controls (at least on the Vita) feel a tad too floaty for these sections to feel enjoyable. Luckily, the main gameplay driver is all about cube-based puzzles, spread across 35 levels that get progressively harder. The goal is always to escape a level using the exit portal, but in order to do this you’ll have to activate said portal first. This is done by completing an electrical circuit – parts of which are scattered across the level.
To complete the circuit, you need to use the various blocks you find – which can all be used as a conduit as well. Easy enough, especially at first, but you’ll soon run into levels where you’ll need to use blocks to create some stairs before you can even collect enough of them to complete the circuit.
This makes Neon Junctions a puzzle game that requires some planning, but most levels are straightforward enough to be completed within the scope of five minutes or less. Many of them can be completed in even less time, and with 35 levels you’re looking at no more than one to two hours of playing time – though the game has a price tag to match.
Another Ratalaika staple also makes a return in Neon Junctions – the easy trophies that you can get twice if you also play the PS4 version. Completing all the levels gets you within platinum distance, and the last few trophies are easy grabs that include finishing a level fast, slow or after killing yourself first.
For those not into trophy hunting, Neon Junctions is still a fun little puzzler for the Vita with nice minimalistic 3D visuals. It’s not terribly ambitious in terms of gameplay scope and content, but if you enjoyed games like Q.U.B.E. then this is the closest I’ve seen on the Vita.