Indoor Sports World review for PS Vita

Platform: PS Vita
Publisher: Super Icon
Developer: Super Icon
Medium: Digital
Players: 1-2
Online: No

In some amazing alternate universe, Life of Pixel was a massive hit, Super Icon’s Kickstarter raised all the money they needed to bring the game to other platforms, and the developer made their proper PS Vita debut with Life of Pixel 2. Unfortunately, we live in this world, in which none of that happened, and instead we got Indoor Sports World.

Now, I don’t want to make that sound like the worst thing in the world. After all, Super Icon clearly put a lot of effort into the game, and it shows. Considering we’re essentially talking about a collection of casual minigames, Indoor Sports World looks far better than it has any right (or at least any need) to. The environments are all highly polished and detailed, and Super Icon did a great job of giving each space its own personality. Not only that, the physics of each game are generally pretty good. There are a few minor problems with how finicky air hockey can be at times in terms of moving your own paddle, but other than that, the billiard balls/darts/air hockey puck all move pretty realistically and predictably.

Indoor Sports World 2

You can probably sense there’s a “But…” coming here, and you’re right. For everything good about the game, it’s still just a minigame collection. And while there’s nothing inherently wrong about that — handhelds seem to require a good mix of casual and hardcore games — it’s still hard to get super excited for Indoor Sports World. Admittedly, I’d never describe myself as an air hockey/darts/pool/billiards aficionado, so the allure of playing those games on the go, whenever I want, is a little lost on me. At the same time, however, there’s not a lot to draw non-devotees in to those game, either. While it’s generally not hard to glean the basics of most of the games on offer, if you don’t know exactly how darts are scored, then it’s up to you to figure it out.

To be fair, there is a Practice mode if you want to hone your skills and get better acquainted with the basics of any of the games in Indoor Sports World. If you want to take those skills any further, though, you’re pretty much out of luck, since the Season mode takes you through every game on offer, while the multiplayer mode is local, pass-and-play only (at least as far as I can tell).

Indoor Sports World 1

Does that make Indoor Sports World a bad game? Of course not — it’s not often that the phrases “casual game” and “well-made labor of love” can go together in the same sentence, so good on Super Icon for making a game that deserves both descriptors. But those things don’t make Indoor Sports World a great, must-have game either, so unless you’ve got to have the games here on offer with you at all times, you’ll probably want to proceed with it at your own risk.

Grade: B