|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: SCE Studios Japan||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: SCE||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: July 27, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Greig McAllister
When it comes to puzzle games, there are simple games that are all about the puzzle with no story, and there are those that take a puzzle mechanic and incorporate a story to increase the games content. Piyotama is keeping things simple with no story and all puzzle. While it has been three years since the PlayStation 3 version was released, the game remains almost identical on the PlayStation Portable.
With a price tag of $4.99, Piyotama is a simple puzzle game that uses the classic Tetris-style screen, but instead of matching up rows of blocks, you are matching up multicolored eggs. The gameplay is simple and easy to get a handle on. Using a bar containing three extra eggs that you can move up and down the rows of eggs, you must push them left and right in order to line up four or more of the same color egg. You can rearrange the order of the eggs that are pushed off to the side before sliding them back into the fray. There is no tutorial mode of any kind, but there are three demo videos that show you how to build up combos as well as advanced techniques for stacking huge combos and clearing the screen.
Once you have a hold on matching up the eggs, its time to start maximizing your combos. After you have matched up the eggs, you have a limited amount of time before they break to match up more eggs to gain a combo. Every time you stack a new combo, the timer resets, giving you time to stack some truly impressive combos with equally impressive scores to match. This is the most addicting part of the game. Once I had it figured out, I was instantly hooked on trying to stack as many combos as I possibly could. It can really get your blood pumping when you have a fifteen combo and youre scrambling to find another egg to add to your combo before time is up.
As your score increases, so does your level, and with each increase, the game gets just a little bit harder. For example, there are certain eggs that will drop down that prevent a row from being moved until that egg is broken. This may not sound like a big deal, but unless they are dealt with, they will really hamper your ability to stack combos. I had multiple occasions where I was stopped dead in my combo stacking tracks because the egg I needed was in a blocked row.
There are two game types in Piyotama. One is a 300 second game where the screen is filled with eggs and more will immediately replace those you break. Your goal is simply to get as many points as possible in the given time. This is easily the most addicting of the two game types because it is short enough that you keep thinking to yourself just one more game before you realize that you have been playing just one more game for an hour and a half. The other is a no time limit challenge where the screen is only partially filled, with a handful of eggs raining down at regular intervals. Your goal is to keep ahead of the eggs or they will fill the screen and the game will end. This mode is probably the more intense of the two. Instead of knowing when the game is going to end, you have to keep ahead of the falling eggs, and after you have leveled up enough, you will start to see new colors, upping the difficulty and making it harder to stack your combos.
All of this puzzling is done with a light and fun look. Every time you break an egg, a little bird comes out and flies away. I enjoyed this effect because it added just enough visual stimulation to prevent you from getting bored and zoning out. On top of the fun animations are some fun sound effects and cheery music. I enjoyed the sound of the game and when combined with the fun visuals, it was hard to not be in a good mood while playing this game. This was a nice feeling because I love puzzle games, and so Im no stranger to frustration when the game starts to turn against me.
Overall, if you are a fan of puzzle games and youre looking for a good portable game that is easy to just pick up and play for a quick game from time to time, then Piyotama is worth picking up. I enjoyed it and I would recommend it to anybody who was looking to pick up a cheap puzzle game for some light, easy going fun.
CCC Freelance Writer