PlayStation Mobile: FuturLab's Beats Slider and Fuel Tiracas
FuturLab Managing Director James Marsden has detailed Beats Slider and Fuel Tiracas for Sony's new PlayStation Mobile service today.
To quote: Hello folks! Earlier this year we were shouting about shouting about Velocity, and now we've got some new things to be excited about. We've been hard at work coming up with more simple, elegant and clever ideas, and crafting them into fun and addictive games.
The first of these games is called Beats Slider, and it's called that because you slide beats around. It's simple, rather elegant, and pretty clever too...
Beats Slider - Conquer Those Blasted Slider Puzzles!
Each block of the sliding puzzle represents MIDI data, which is basically musical notation that computers can read. MIDI data can be used to play back any instrument, synthesizer, drum loop or whatever you throw at it, just by changing the instruments or samples that are triggered by it.
So what we've done is allow the player to push a drum loop MIDI pattern into a synthesizer slot, or a melody pattern into a bass line track, and every combination you could think of within the limits of each level. It was quite the brain teaser to write music that can be rearranged in this way whilst still sounding good, but we managed it.
What we're also doing is teaching people how to solve those blasted slider puzzles. Some people are just able to solve them, but people like you (and me) are often left frowning with frustration. No more. If you play Beats Slider, you will learn how to solve every slider puzzle that will ever be made, whilst also listening to catchy music like http://soundcloud.com/futurlab/slidefive.
Fuel Tiracas - Twitch-On-Touch Done Properly
Hot on the heels of Beats Slider is Fuel Tiracas, which is our attempt at bringing hardcore twitch gaming to touch-based mobile devices!
As with all our games, Fuel Tiracas is simple, elegant and a little bit clever, and it takes everything we've learned about addictive mechanics from http://www.coconutdodge.co.uk/ and http://www.velocitygame.co.uk/, and boils them down to their absolute core essence, building the simplest game possible that adequately challenges the following faculties:
• Use manual dexterity to create fast paced action
• Use memory to take ownership of repeated patterns
• Make fast decisions in response to random events
• Look really cool doing all of the above competently
These are the things that make Coconut Dodge and Velocity fun and addictive, and it's these things that we have literally put right at the player's fingertips - in their purest form - in Fuel Tiracas.
The game takes place on Planet Tiracas, which currently has no atmosphere, and it's the player's job to use Tiracas' natural resources as Fuel to power giant atmosphere processors!
Fusing together 'Whack-A-Mole', 'Spinning Plates' and 'Simon Says' gameplay, the player must quickly collect fuel (in the form of colored circles) as it appears in one of the six fuel pods to raise the fuel level in a selected fuel gauge, making sure to balance each gauge within its threshold for long enough to generate 100% power to the atmosphere processor. This would all be really easy if the fuel didn't slowly deplete over time, and that's the kicker...
It's simple, fast-paced action with a resource/time management slant, and it's addictive as hell because, as with Coconut Dodge, the combination of random and predictable elements gives the player the opportunity to memorize and master the patterns that appear, whilst being kept on their toes by random events, leading to Bishop-level exhibitions of skill and speed; and people looking and feeling cool while playing.
Fuel Tiracas has 12 levels that slowly introduce players to the various Fuel Types included in the game, and the real value is in the huge amount of replayability as players learn the patterns and improve their best times, competing for the top spot on global high scores!
And... it costs $0.49. A PlayStation Vita game for 49 cents. Hello PlayStation Mobile!