Aquattack! – The PS3 Attitude Review
Let’s be honest, a lot of the minis titles on the PlayStation Store are merely ten-minute curiosities that you go on once and then forget about; however, there are of course others that are a joy to play, and offer hours of addictive gameplay. But which of these categories does Aquattack! fall into?
Simply put, Aquattack! is a match-3 puzzler, in which the aim of the game is to swap different coloured fish. However, rather than swapping individual squares (or should that be fish?), you are actually in control of entire rows and columns.
To clarify, pressing X will move your currently selected column downwards by one square and triangle will move it upwards, whilst square will move your selected row left and circle will move it right. It’s a nice twist on a tried and tested genre.
The main mode in Aquattack! is Arcade, which simply tasks you with getting the highest score possible within the time limit. Successful matches will both increase your score and give you extra time, so the key to success is noticing potential moves early.
It’s addictive in the same way that all match-3 puzzlers are addictive, and as you would expect, includes various special moves and items to keep gameplay from getting stale, such as bombs that scare nearby fish away, and electric eels that destroy all fish of a single colour.
Aquattack! has clearly been designed to be played in small chunks, because (unless you’re really good) single games in Arcade mode rarely last more than five minutes or so. There is of course a local leaderboard, so chasing high scores is a big part of the title’s replay value.
However, we ended up spending most of our time with the game’s Challenge mode. This is split up into a range of timed challenges, such as reaching a target score, matching a certain amount of a specific coloured fish, or spawning and destroying three bombs.
The difficulty increases sharply as you progress, so completing all fifty challenges will take a fairly long time (well, for a mini at least), and we found that the ‘just one more go’ mentality that often accompanies this type of game was ever-present.
Graphically, it actually looks pretty decent, even when played on the PlayStation 3, with a bright colour palette and nice animations. The theme tune is also catchy enough to not get too annoying, which is always a bonus.
So it turns out that Aquattack!, other than being an orthographical nightmare, is also quite good fun. Sure, it’s not the best minis title out there, but it’s certainly not the worst either, and is certainly worth a download for fans of match-3 puzzle games who are bored of the usual Bejeweled clones.