Eufloria Adventures Hands-On Preview (PS Vita)
- Updated: September 5, 2013
Taking its inspiration from old sci-fi matte paintings, space combat game Transcendance and The Bitmap Brother’s classic vertical shoot-em-up Xenon II: Megablast, Eufloria Adventures puts you in charge of a single ship. This ship doubles up as a seedling that can be used to both create new colonies – by blasting away enemy colonies – and discovering long lost colonies, called enclaves, with the sole aim of expanding your living, organic empire. There’s also ancient artifacts and pickups to collect along the way to beef-up your ship with more health, temporary invisibility or even your own killer drone (my favourite).
Fans of the original Eufloria will be right at home with familiar tree-shaped colonies growing from every nook and cranny of the levels. For a PSM game it looks beautiful. There are lovely heart-beat like glowing effects that bring life to both the colonies and surrounding environment. I really liked one of the later levels which resembled the inside of HAL 900′s brain from 2001: Space Odyssey, all red and ominous.
There are 3 different ships to pilot (in any order) with the touch screen controls. My ship flew straight to which ever part of the screen I touched. And apart from activating collected artifacts with a quick finger prod, that’s it for the controls. With auto-fire fitted as standard, my ship opened fire when anything nasty came into range. Each ship has also been designed around its main attribute – speed, strength and energy – giving them all a distinctive look and feel that extends throughout the levels and the colonies as well.
For example, picking the speed ship gave me control over a slender, nippy craft that was a bit lacking in the firepower department. Then it was off to explore the speed ship levels which were more about whizzing through tunnels than all-out warfare. True enough, I was darting around like a mad thing, taking out the odd enemy colony and picking up every artifact I could find. With the beautiful music from the composer behind the original Eufloria tracks, Adventures was exciting and relaxing at the same time.
Fortunately, my magical ship also recharged itself automatically when I wasn’t being attacked which gave me more control over how conservative or aggressive I wanted to be. I flipped between kamizaki face-on attacks with my artifact-collected companion ship taking lots of the heat, to flying around admiring all the pretty plants as I waited for my health to regenerate.
As the levels are so huge, the game helps you out with a vegetable-themed spin on the tried and trusted method of leaving a breadcrumb trail. As I whizzed a through a tunnel, all of its walls sprung to life with plants to show me where I’d been. Both pretty and useful.
Eufloria Adventures is just the kind of game to get lost inside for hours on end, exploring its labyrinths. Look out for it towards the end of 2013 on PlayStation Mobile.