Surge was originally released on Playstation Mobile back in 2012. Developers FuturLab have a good track record in updating and improving their titles – just look at Velocity and Velocity Ultra. For Surge Deluxe they have added some extra features but did they manage to maintain the fun, frantic gameplay of the original?
Surge Deluxe is a match-three game and you are tasked with helping harness a new source of energy that has a dangerous byproduct. To do so you need to connect tiles with exposed sides of the same colour together to remove them from the screen. The aim of the game is to clear the screen of tiles completely within the time limit. However as well as the traditional timer along the bottom of the screen there are also pressure gauges on each side.
These gauges climb as pressure builds, and to stop them from overheating you need to tap the vents along the side to release the pressure. Getting to the vents requires clearing the tiles closest to them and so you often find yourself weighing up whether to try and chain a long combo of tiles or quickly string two together so that you can access a vent.
Weighing up in this case means making a split second decision, because Surge Deluxe is a very fast paced game. You use the touchscreen to chain tiles together and tap on vents as needed. FuturLab have also cleverly made sure an electrical current follows your finger on screen so you can see exactly where you’re dragging your digit. This is enhanced by great soundtrack which thankfully doesn’t distract the player from the task at hand.
All of this will be familiar to anyone who played the original Playstation Mobile title, so what’s new? Well, an entirely different side of the game – puzzle mode – for starters. This features 15 tile puzzles that are always the same, with a target score for each. I actually found playing through these really upped my skills in the main game and they are fun, though frustrating, at times. The tiles are no longer all square, meaning it’s a lot easier for colour blind players to get involved. Again this was something I felt benefited my game as well because I could go by colour or shape in a pinch!
Like the original game you have tiles that change colour (and now shape) while you play, as well as score multiplier tiles to boost your combos. You also have a Combiner block that matches any colour and a Chain Linker block that let’s you chain a colour and then connect it to another chain. This really opens the game up and gives you a lot of options for how to clear those tiles.
Added to that is the fact that the entire scoring system has been reworked to accommodate high level play, which means you’ll be racking up huge scores in no time. Last but by no means least, FuturLab have included Trophies and Leaderboards for Deluxe, which is always a welcome bonus – especially in a title like this where score chasing with friends will keep you entertained.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Surge Deluxe and it looks like FuturLab have delivered another solid title for the Vita. It is an update but the features added are substantial, this seems to be a reworking of the title as opposed to just adding in trophies and shipping it. As mentioned above, the main drawback for me is it’s longevity but that’s a personal opinion – with leaderboards added there will be ample game time here if you can get some score chasing going.