Puzzle games seem like the genre of choice for any handheld, as the platform is most suited for playing on the go just for a few minutes at a time. So the puzzle genre is perfect as you can always just pick it up and play for a bit and then go, or if you have a lot of time on your hands you can play for hours. Well there is a new puzzle game to make its way onto Sony’s new handheld the PSP and it is Frantix. Could the game become a favorite with gamers? Read our full review to find out!
Although puzzle games have been very popular for the PSP, with games like the excellent Lumines and Mercury, there still hasn’t been one like a Tetris that has really blown the minds of millions and made everyone run out and buy a PSP. Well Frantix may not look like a puzzler, since it features 3D graphics, but once you play it, you can see that it attempts to infuse several unique ideas into the puzzle genre. But is it worth the purchase?
Right when you start the game you will be given a nice simple tutorial mode in which you will play through to learn the basics of the mazes of Frantix. It is here that they will teach you the simple mechanics on how the game works, whether it be pushing boxes or pressing buttons. The tutorial mode gets you all geared up and ready to go into the puzzles of Frantix. You see the things you learn in the tutorial mode are really very simple, but you need to apply them creatively in much harder stages later.
One of the things that really are interesting about this game Frantix is that it doesn’t try overly hard to mix up the gameplay at all. The game consists of roughly two hundred levels, which means this game isn’t all that short. However with this being said, the same maze-like challenges is used consistently throughout the entirety of the game. What really bothers me is the fact that the game gives you no apparent reason for opening these doors or going through these mazes, but instead just has you do them. The game never once hints at a storyline, instead just proceeds to throw maze after maze at you.
Basically in the end, Frantix, like I said, puts you through maze after maze where you quickly have to figure out the puzzle, get everything you can and then get through the maze. This idea starts off strong and really sounded intriguing, with the mazes seemed to be quite a challenge. But as the game progressed, it just felt like the developers didn’t know how to further evolve the idea, and ended up just doing the same sort of thing over and over again. This is why after the first ten to twenty minutes of gameplay, Frantix goes from being extremely fun to terminally boring.
Visually, Frantix suffers from the same problem the gameplay does, and that is the developers seemed to have a clear purpose in what they wanted to do with this game, but the final product just seemed to be an average looking game at best. And also similar to the gameplay, there was no real variety in what you saw on screen, so all the mazes seemed to look the same. Although there was nothing overly wrong with the game’s visuals, it just seemed like they could have done more in terms of variety to help spice things up for the game.
At the onset, Frantix seems like a cool idea, and looks to be quite different from other puzzle games in the market. But after twenty minutes of playing this game, you can see that the developers really did not have a whole lot of innovative ideas for this game. They took the idea of a 3D maze game, ran with it and ended up making a pretty dull game. Frantix never really gave you a reason to want to play this game, as the game never tells you why you are doing what you do, nor does it ever try to mix up the formula from the game. In the end, the game feels like an idea that got overused and underdeveloped.
It’s safe to say that you can give this game a pass, as it doesn’t have anything to it that will give you a lasting enjoyment for over twenty minutes. The idea of a 3D maze/puzzle game is definitely there, but you can only push so many blocks in so many mazes before you get sick of the whole thing. Unless you have a genuine fascination with 3D Puzzlers, you are probably better off passing on Frantix as it doesn’t do anything to really earn your hard earned money.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.