game reviews and playing tips: Sony PSP games Read our review of the PSP here!
Reviewed November 2005 by Marc Morgan
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: Killer Game
Release Date: September, 2005
ESRB Rating: "E" for Everyone
Since the PSP was first released, there have been a couple
puzzle games that have come out, such as Lumines and Mercury.
What you will notice about these games is that they are not
simply clones of other games, but games with completely new
concepts. Now, Sony Online Entertainment has released Frantix,
a new game that combines puzzle solving with action gameplay.
The gameplay in Frantix is very simple and very easy to get
used to. There are different colored gems scattered through
many levels in different worlds. You have to collect all the
gems in each level and go into the exit portal within the time
limit to beat the level. If you can make your way through the
level in a short enough time, you will also get a gold gem.
The game starts off as simple as this, and gradually becomes
harder. As you progress, you will encounter pickups, hazards,
creatures, objects, and portals and doors. The pickups can
be both good and bad for your character. Pickups such as time
boost, which increases the time limit, and haste boost, which
makes you faster, are good for your character. However, pickups
such as haste minus, which slows your character down, are bad
for your character. Hazards include water, lava, and quicksand.
You need a bridge to cross lava and water, but with quicksand
you can walk across it, so long as you don't stop or turn around.
These hazards will also have the same rules for creatures,
which can come in handy in some levels. Creatures always try
to mess you up. If you run into most of them, you will fail
the level. However, some will only block your way. Each type
of creature has a predictable movement pattern, so use that
to your advantage. There are many different objects in the
game that you can use to help your character if they are used
properly. Boxes, for example can be pushed into lava or water
to make a bridge. However, in lava they will be burned up by
the heat and sink after a few seconds. Bombs can be used to
kill creatures, but if you are in the way of the blast, they
can also kill you. Lastly, portals will transport you to a
different part of the level, and doors will let you through
depending on what kind they are. Some doors will only let you
through one way, and others require you to have a certain number
of gems in particular colors. The game keeps track of how many
gems you have in total, and worlds and levels will be unlocked
as you collect the gems.
In many puzzle games, the only way to judge graphics is by
how colorful everything is, and how the parts of the puzzle
look. However, all the levels in Frantix are completely 3D,
as well as all the items and creatures. The levels are designed
to reflect the world that they are in, such as levels in the
Desert Oasis world having a desert theme. The gems are all
easy to see, as are all the creatures and objects. The graphics
work well with the rest of the game.
Frantix offers both music and sound effects. The music tracks
create a nice background and mood for the gameplay. Expect
the standard music affair found in puzzle games, nothing to
stand out but interesting enough to keep it in the background.
The sound effects however add a nice element to the gameplay.
There are sound effects for basically every part of the game,
from pushing objects, blowing stuff up to going through the
menus and more. Overall, the sound effects are about average
for a PSP game.
Frantix is a great addition to the PSP's puzzle game selection
where is still starving for more titles. The gameplay starts
easy, but progressively gets more challenging. It's simple
enough for anyone to pick up and play, and proves to be quite
addictive. The 3-D graphics are excellent for a puzzle game,
and the sound compliments the game nicely. Above all, it is
unique among other puzzle games for the PSP.
Playing Hints and Tips
- Keep an eye out for hazards and avoid
- Look around for objects that you can put to use.
- Watch the movement pattern of creatures and try to
- Mind the time limit.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
The graphics in the game are above the
standard for puzzle games as the entire game is in 3D, including
all of the objects in the puzzles.
There is music and sound effects, which
are about standard for PSP puzzle games. The sound effects
enhance the gameplay as expected, and the music makes sure
that there is sound to fill in the background.
Simply put, Frantix is a unique puzzle
game on the PSP, and is a must-have game for puzzle lovers.
It offers over 180 levels to play, it will provide hours of
entertainment and mind twists.
The gameplay is simple at first, and
progressively gets more difficult, making the game very addictive.
A child can easily play the game, and an adult can still enjoy
the challenge when reach the later levels.