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PlayStation Vita  header logo

Little Deviants

For: PS Vita

Small victory

Product: Little Deviants | Developer: Bigbig Studios | Publisher: Sony Europe | Format: PS Vita | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe
 
Little Deviants PS Vita, thumbnail 1
You've probably heard the term 'tech demo'. Tech demos are smaller experiences that show off the capabilities of a new piece of hardware and usually never see the light of day outside of expos, let alone commercial releases.

There are a few exceptions, of course. When tech demos do get into the public's hands they're generally spruced up and chucked into a collection to increase their perceived value. Wii Sports could be said to be a glorified tech demo, getting users used to the new input methods that came with the console.

Little Deviants is arguably a tech demo, making use of almost every new control system that comes with Sony's great portable hope. Presenting 30 mini-games for you to work through across six themed areas, it sees you rubbing, tapping, swiping, swinging, and tilting your new handheld in a variety of ways.

Small things come in small packages

These range from guiding your Deviant like a marble around a maze using the gyroscopes to pinching both sides of the device to ping one around a boxing arena to engaging in augmented reality shoot-outs with invading armies of flying enemy Botz.

Then there's the craft-flying game where you use the Vita like a steering wheel to guide your ship through obstacle-filled routes, the land-deformation game in which you press the back panel to raise the ground and roll your Deviant round a map, and the opera stage where you hum into the microphone at different pitches to shatter glasses thrown at you.

There's more, too, but by now you're getting the picture: Little Deviants is made up of quirky games with simple premises that show off everything your system can do.

Unfortunately, Little Deviants showcases the PS Vita's functionality at the expense of its own gameplay. Rather than taking the WarioWare or Frobisher Says approach to design, where games last around 30 seconds and then you move on, they'll usually last four or five minutes. That's a lot of time to be repeating a very basic action, with each game steadily becoming dull.

The selection also lacks variety. Many are repeated with different landscape layouts, such as the marble-rolling games.

Individually, the seperate mini-games are competently produced - the controls feel natural for each game and their difficulty is well-pitched. But by extending their length beyond the minute mark Bigbig Studios stretches your patience for what are essentially party games.

Funny little guys

Curbing this somewhat is the game's playful and good-natured sense of humour. Each type of Deviant has a charming little personality, the Botz have a 1950s invaders movie appeal, and the Whomans are adorable.

Aside from the moments of AR trickery, there's nothing special about the visuals, but they're bold and sharp. Same goes for the audio: you won't hum it on your way to work, but you won't turn it off either.

As one of the cheaper launch titles it's good value. You can get Little Deviants for under £20, and that sounds about right for the amount of content you're getting. There are collectibles to find and unlock, each game can be replayed at will once you've obtained it, and the online leaderboards inspire competition amongst friends.

It's likely that Little Deviants will find a place in the hearts of early adopters for its light-hearted tone. It's the game you'll use to show off what your latest gadget can do. For the price, it's worth a look, but the lack of any real complexity or gameplay innovation stop it from being anything truly special.
 
Little Deviants
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 13 February 2012
There's no better game to demonstrate the cool new ways to interact with the Vita, but Little Deviants's long-lasting appeal is minimal, relying on too few gameplay ideas over too long a period of time
 
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