The PS Vita hasn’t had the best sales since it launched more than a year ago, including a release schedule filled with a handful of PS3 ports, indie games, and little else. Few games seem made with the Vita in mind, but Tearaway from Media Molecule (LittleBigPlanet) looks to finally give the system the killer app its long needed. And, based on what we played, the unique platformer seems up to the task.
The handmade visuals of Tearaway are immediately striking, with papercraft style that warms your heart the moment you see it. And the player is positioned as a god above the game world--try to not let it go to your head. You control the envelope-headed Iota, but the player themselves are also a constant presence that the game and its characters recognize. Sometimes it’s your eye being captured by the camera and replacing the sun. Other times you tap the back touch pad or the screen to move items in the game world. Tearaway kept finding clever ways to use Vita features most games ignore.
The simplest way all those came together was also the most heartwarming moment of the demo. We kept meeting this talkative squirrel, and at one point he wanted us to make him a crown. Using the touchscreen, we cut out crown from yellow construction paper and placed it on his head. When we met the squirrel later, our newly-regal friend wanted us to take a picture of him in his new crown, which we did via the Vita’s motion sensors. We couldn’t help but smile at the situation, and it was a moment of happiness that only the PS Vita could supply. Tearaway hits the Vita this October.
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