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Move Mind Benders

17:2906/11/2011Posted by Simeon PaskellNo Comments

Christmas is around the corner, the goose is getting fat and the shelves of game shops are heaving with titles eager to make a splash in the lucrative festive market. Now, it would be overly harsh to call Move Mind Benders a cynical cash in, but what easier way to grab some shelf space and bolster the PlayStation Move’s library by jamming three PlayStation Store titles onto one disk?

When reviewing a collection such as this, there are three main elements to consider – of foremost importance is whether or not the games are any good. Then, there is the cost factor – does the package make sound financial sense, or is it attempting to hawk a collection of cheap downloadable titles at a premium price? Thirdly, how well put together is the whole thing? Has the publisher taken the time to present the games in a way that shows them at their best, or are the games buried underneath a maze of poorly designed menus? We’re pleased to report that Move Mind Benders does pretty well in all these areas.

The three games included in the package are echochrome ii, Lemmings and Tumble, all of which are thematically linked by a penchant for gentle, PS Move-based puzzling. In terms of cost, the package’s RRP of £17.99 is sound, if unexciting – by our reckoning, to buy all three from the PlayStation store would come to £21.97; saving you £3.98.

But what of the games themselves? First up is Lemmings in which your job is save as many of the green-haired, blue-jumper wearing critters as you can from their own suicidal tendencies. Lemmings is something of a classic, and while the PS3 version lacks the dinky charm of the original while also rounding off some of its darker edges (gone is the mass suicide button…), the core game mechanics are intact. Using your Move controller as a mouse-pointer works well, and is certainly preferable to manipulating the curser with an analogue stick. Despite its classic heritage, it is likely the weaker game in the collection but still has much to recommend it – especially if you’ve never spent some time with the Lemmings before.

Tumble – which was something of a PS Move poster-boy when the device launched – is a motion-controller based take on block puzzling. Part Jenga, part Tetris, part Boom Blox, you must pick up blocks, manipulate them with your the Move controller and meet pre-defined objectives such as building a tower of a certain height, fitting a set number of blocks onto a platform etc. The illusion that you are actually holding the blocks is extremely convincing, and while there are some occasional calibration issues, there’s plenty here to keep you playing.

The real star of the show is echochrome ii, which saw Japan Studio follow up the perspective-puzzling of the original with a shadow/light mechanic that made great use of the PS Move. Using the motion-controller to manipulate a light source and cast shadows, your task is to guide a shadowy mannequin to an exit. From this simple premise, Studio Japan wring out an impressive variety of puzzles, and with three difference modes of play, level creation and online galleries, there’s plenty here to sink your teeth into.

All three games are included in their entirety and there are no additions or bonuses features exclusive to this collection. While this isn’t particularly disappointing, the three games could have been integrated a little more slickly; though this is a splash-menu upon starting the package, to switch games once you’ve started playing you have to quit and reload. This is hardly a deal breaker, but is an issue that Sony would do well to address in any future compilations of this kind.

So there you have it – Move Mind Benders; three games, one disk and a small financial saving. The justification for the creation of the Move Mind Benders package may be a little flimsy- and it might not be the most exciting compilation of all time – but all three games included have plenty to offer and are all good reasons to dust off your Move motion controllers if you’ve not used them for a while.

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