Factotum 90 review for PS Vita, PS4, Xbox One

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, PC, Xbox One, Wii U
Publisher: Poppy Games
Developer: TACS Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No

I feel like in the right hands and on the right platform, Factotum 90 could’ve been an amazing puzzle experience. And while I’m not quite qualified to say whether its developer, TACS, were the right hands, I can say with some certainty that the PS Vita definitely isn’t the right platform for this particular game. Then again, my criticisms of the game mostly extend to its PS4 version, too, so whatever issues Factotum 90 has, they go beyond the Vita’s hardware limitations.

Of course, some of them are entirely Vita-specific. Take, for example, the game’s looks. While it’s far from a thing of beauty on PS4, I wouldn’t say that graphics are an issue. On the Vita, by contrast, everything looks muddy, and the cameras focusing on your two on-screen robots look kind of grainy. On the console version, that’s a quirky design choice; on the handheld, it’s just ugly.

Other problems cut across platforms. Those aforementioned cameras, for example, move at a snail’s pace, and don’t show nearly enough of the levels to be useful. This means that figuring out a level requires walking around, scoping everything out, and then — often after restarting, because you’ll have walked yourself into a corner — very slowly executing your plan.

I say “very slowly” because that highlights Factotum 90’s other notable issue. Your robots move like they’re stuck in molasses. Considering you alternate between controlling two of them, and you have to navigate both to the end of a level in order to move on, you can see how it may get a little frustrating as you watch one crawl across a very long room…and then you watch the other one, too, because that’s how this game plays.

What’s frustrating about it is that it’s not hard to imagine Factotum 90 being a fun game. Make the robots move a little more quickly, make the camera less sticky, and suddenly nearly all the issues are fixed. In the absence of those fixes, however, you’re just left with a puzzle game that’s got some great ideas, but that falls just short of executing them.

Of course, the fact that I my problems with the game extend to its PS4 version as well leads me to believe that it’s not a

Poppy Works provided us with a Factotum 90 PS4/PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: B-