Little Adventure on the Prairie review for PS Vita, PS4, 3DS

Platform: PS Vita
Also On: PS4, 3DS
Publisher: Infinite Madaa
Developer: Infinite Madaa
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

I don?t want to be too hard on Little Adventure on the Prairie. After all, it?s the first game from a group of developers in Qatar, which isn?t a phrase you hear too often. Plus, everyone has to start somewhere, right?

And yet?this is a game expects people to pay money for it on PSN. Which means that even if it?s only a couple of dollars, and even if it?s possibly the easiest Platinum you could ever hope to get, it still deserves an honest assessment.

And honestly: Little Adventure on the Prairie is, if not the absolute worst game I?ve ever played, then certainly in the running for that title. Literally the only good thing about it is that you can Platinum it in about 20 minutes. In every other respect, it?s awful.

It?s so awful, in fact, that it?s hard to tell where to begin critiquing it. Even the name is nonsensical, since there?s no ?prairie? to be found. The three levels take place in a wooded area, some place that?s either a volcano or actual Hell, or a mountain. This isn?t the kind of thing that would normally bug me, but when every other aspect of the game is so horrendously terrible, even the minor infractions have a way of seeming worse than they are.

Mind you, a crappy name has nothing on…well, take your pick. The graphics are a total eyesore, with the repeating backgrounds — and repeating blocks of ground under your feet, for that matter — looking like someone made very liberal use of a clone tool somewhere along the line. The same could be said for the enemies, seeing as each world features the same basic enemy coming after you over and over again, with the only difference being that they occasionally have different colour palettes. (The hero, bizarrely, looks a refugee from some random Japanese games.)

The gameplay is similarly repetitive. The point of each level is to kill everything, which you accomplish by walking up to those terrible-looking enemies, mashing the attack button, and then hoping the game registers enough of your hits to end them. This, of course, is no sure thing, seeing as there doesn?t seem to be any rhyme or reason as to what counts as a hit and what doesn?t — you just know that you?ve succeeded when the enemies flash red. You also need to avoid being hit, which is harder than it sounds, since it?s entirely possible for enemies to register hits on you without even raising their swords. In theory, you could just jump in the air, land in some vague proximity to an enemy?s head, and start hacking away, but this is a dicey strategy: while you can sometimes hover in the air next to an enemy, you can?t always, and sometimes this drains your health.

The good news, for lack of a better descriptor, is that there are only about a dozen enemies per level, and only twelve levels, which means that you can easily beat the game — and get the Platinum trophy — in about twenty minutes. I suppose this isn?t necessarily a downside, seeing as I wouldn?t exactly want to have to play more Little Adventure on the Prairie, but it still makes it hard to feel like you?ve accomplished anything when you?ve beaten the game.

Even here, though, there are problems: the game doesn?t seem to save your progress, so beating it is really an all-or-nothing kind of deal. Again, it?s only twenty minutes, so ?all? in this case still isn?t very much, but it?s still annoying if you, say, get frustrated by the game, put it aside for a few minutes, and come back to find everything gone.

So, to recap: on one side, Little Adventure on the Prairie features arguably the easiest Platinum trophy ever. On the other: it?s also possibly the worst game ever. I leave it up to you to decide which of those considerations you weigh more heavily.

Infinite Madaa provided us with a Little Adventure on the Prairie PS Vita code for review purposes.

Grade: F