Can puzzles really succeed over full-blown action adventures on Sony's handheld console the PSP? Ubisoft think so. We look at Gripshift, its latest puzzle racer.
Gripshift might want you to believe that it’s a puzzle game with a difference, but at the core of the gameplay you are driving and racing around tracks just like most other driving games on the market.
Where the difference occurs is that for the most part you race on a floating track - if you veer off it is game over.
The game is spilt up into three different areas - Single Player, Multiplayer and Track Editor. The Single Player mode is where the crux of the game resides and its here that you can access the challenge, race and bonus game modes.
The challenge mode sees you drive and sometimes race through a variation of courses completing certain tasks. It is fairly slow and easy to start with, but soon gets more involved as weapons, nitro and handbrake buttons are all introduced alongside moving platforms and loop the loops on the tracks themselves.
As you would expect you have to complete levels to progress and this includes collecting stars, beating certain time requirements or collecting special tokens, however you are allowed five level skips for the duration of the game if the level is just too much for you and spoiling your gaming fun.
The more credits you earn, the more of the game you can unlock and incomplete tasks can be accessed at anytime by replaying the failed or incomplete levels. Play enough of the Challenge mode, and you’ll unlock other areas of the game and eventually you’ll be able to play over 100 levels in four themed worlds; Desert, Jungle, Ice and Horror.
Graphics are basic, but effective and overall the gameplay is good clean fun suitable for all ages young and old.
Like Frantix, Ubisoft is keen to test PSP gamers with puzzles and mini games rather than lengthy levels that take ages to solve and complete.
Here like Frantix, the levels will take seconds rather than minutes to finish - or fail - and it therefore makes an ideal choice if your trying to get 5 minutes gaming fix in before the train or bus arrives.
Think Marble Madness rather than something that will mentally challenge you. It won’t keep you going for long, but while it lasts, it's good fun.