Furmins review for PS Vita

Platform: PS Vita
Publisher: Housemarque
Developer: Beatshapers
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

I feel kind of bad for a game like Furmins. It’s good but not amazingly great, and in a world where games are either the best thing ever or the worst of all time, there’s rarely much room for the solidly above-average. Not only that, it’s a casual game, which means it exists in an even more crowded marketplace, and without having any amazing hook to hang its hat on, it’s hard for the game to stand out — and, I have to admit, a little difficult to get incredibly excited about, too.

Make no mistake, though: Furmins is a fun game. If you’re in the mood for a Lemmings-style puzzle, where you have to lead little furry creatures to an exit, then it’s perfect. Similarly, it makes good use of the ubiquitous three-star system, by 1) making it plainly obvious what you need to do to earn each store (in other words, none of the occasional randomness that can be annoying about Angry Birds’ scored star rewards), and 2) letting you use the stars to unlock new levels. The latter, particularly, is useful as a tool for making you go back and perfect each level — which, again, isn’t something you can say about every game.

Furmins 1

As for what specifically you do to earn those stars…that, perhaps, is where things are a little less exciting. The titular Furmins, after all, simply drop, and occasionally roll (assuming there’s an incline), and it’s up to you to get them from point A to point B by using a combination of gravity, momentum and bouncy platforms. There’s some player input, but generally it’s just up to you to put things in place, set it in motion, and watch what happens. As you’d expect, this involves quite a bit of trial and error involved, not to mention a not-insignificant amount of luck. In other words, it’s awfully similar to loads of other casual puzzle games.

And yet…it’s better than most. The Furmins are kind of cute, and the puzzles increase in difficulty at the perfect pace. If there’s any problem, it’s that the Vita version of the game costs twice as much as the iOS one, even though — if the description of the latter is accurate — it’s literally the same game. I mean, I like trophies as much as anyone, but that’s kind of insane.

Furmins 2

Only a little, though. When Angry Birds can come over to Sony’s handheld and charge (at least) a twelve-fold premium, then simply doubling the price arguably counts as reasonable. And besides, there are arguments to be made regarding screwed up traditional pricing structures, not to mention the size of the Vita userbase compared to the iOS one.

But those are arguments for somewhere else. Here, there’s only one question to be asked: is Furmins a good game? And even if the answer isn’t as resounding as it is for some other casual PS Vita games, the answer is still a pretty clear “yes”.

Grade: B