Review: Trash Panic (PSN)

The PSN looks to bring us another original gem this time with an original take on the falling blocks puzzler. But is this physics based, eco focused puzzler just another version of Tetris? Or does Trash Panic stand up in originality to join the likes of Patapon and The Last Guy as standout PSN titles from Studio Japan?  Console Creatures sorts through the garbage to find out!

The Pros

Trash Panic differentiates itself from other puzzlers of the sort on various levels.  The most prevalent is the waste management theme of the game and from there; it solidifies it’s unique image as a puzzle game.  The core premise of the game is simple and familiar: trash systematically falls into a bin where you must position it so that the maximum space is utilized to compact as much garbage into the bin.  The items falling into the bins are a wide array of everyday and not so common items that when dropped at the right velocity  and angle (which is in your control) will break (and possibly the other items it impacts), subsequently taking up less space.  With the impressive implementation of physics into the game, they have also thrown in a catch where “sacred” garbage is occasionally dropped in and must eventually reach the bottom of the bin unscathed to avoid a tidal wave of objects bombarding the bin at once.

The environmental aspect of the game comes into play with the additional options to eliminate the trash in the form of fire and decomposition balls.  Fire will help you eliminate the trash in your bin quicker by burning the flammable objects however it does increase you’re tracked carbon levels which in turn decreases your “eco” score. On the other hand, the more eco friendly solution is utilizing decomposition balls and water which will allow you to decompose items that would be biodegradable in real life.  The way you utilize these two options when they appear as objects to be dropped into the bin will greatly influence your score and the ease (or lack of) in keeping your bin from overflowing and having too many objects fall out.  This leaves you with a challenge far beyond trying to match colors and/or grouping items for them to disappear.


The Cons

With the implementation of realistic physics in the game play, there seems to be a glitch where at times in the game items in the bin do not collapse further down when the supporting items underneath are eliminated.  This leaves you to maneuver your way around sometimes larger items in order to reach the empty space cleared up underneath.

With no game save feature, you might get frustrated at the game when you also consider the difficulty level and having run through the whole game to complete in one sitting.

Here’s the Deal

Though one can assume that the game is a simple puzzler, the additional game play mechanics and unique features along with realistic physics make this game deceptively challenging.  The theme of the game is not only a cosmetic feature but also is implemented into the game play with environmental options and consequences that play an integral part of your strategy.  Trash Panic is a stand out puzzle game that possesses it’s own unique flair and deep game play. 8/10

~ by consolecreatures on June 26, 2009.

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