[Vita Review] Surge Deluxe
A new energy source provides humanity with enormous electrical power, but by-product materials build up fast, and must be constantly cleared to keep pressure levels in check. Shatter the dangerous by-products by routing electrical surges between matching blocks, and then vent pressure in huge blasts to buy you more time! Surge Deluxe puts sizzling electrical energy at your fingertips! Can you handle the pressure..?
Surge Deluxe is an improved version of Surge, which was released a while ago as a PS Mobile game with the same premise, and it now features better visuals, trophies and an extra puzzle mode that will put your skills to the test since you need to finish the level AND do it with a good-enough high-score in order to beat that level.
The game’s gameplay mechanics are used both in regular mode and in puzzle mode, so be sure to pay attention. You will see that there are several figures of different colors on each side of the screen, and logic dictates that you must pair figures of the same color in order to improve your score. This is done by touching one of the figures and then dragging your finger over similar pieces trigger a combo as soon as you stop touching the screen. Touch a figure of a different color, and your combo is broken, and you must start again.
This is a simple premise that is elevated into “addictive” by including score multiplier blocks, special chain reaction blocks, a timer and a SECOND timer that must be carefully balanced since it could end your game in a matter of seconds. You see, all of these energy blocks are a bit dangerous since they produce a lot of by-products that build up pressure on both sides of the screen (represented by a bar at each side), and you must clear all blocks in front of a vent to be able to release some of the pressure. But wait, it gets trickier! If you manage to open a vent, all blocks of the same color are now worth more points, and if you open both vents of the same color (one on each side), the multiplier skyrockets. This means that you must decide if it’s worth it to risk having the increasing pressure destroy your run, just to open up the right vents to maximize your score to clear the whole screen in one go.
And to make it even MORE addictive, Surge Deluxe includes leaderboards that taunt you with a high-score to beat (you know, as long as you’re connected to the internet), and this will keep you coming back over and over to try and climb to the top. But it does not stop there because if you do manage to get there, then everyone else will be gunning for you, trying to take your spot.
Surge Deluxe is an excellent “match X” game, and it improves on the formula by adding faster gameplay and extra mechanics that separate it from the rest. The extra puzzle mode, hard trophies and online leaderboards are icing on the cake, and make this a must-have Vita release that has to be played in order to understand just how addictive it can be.
[review pros=”Easy to learn, hard to master