|Developer||Sony Computer Entertainment|
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A PlayStation Vita exclusive from LittleBigPlanet creators Media Molecule, Tearaway tasks you with aiding either male protagonist Iota or his female counterpart Atoi as they make their way through a whimsical world built entirely of papercraft objects. Though the core game is a standard 3D puzzle platformer, you’ll often need to use the Vita’s front and rear touch capabilities to reach into the game—sometimes quite literally, with your fingers poking through—and manipulate objects to help your little folded friend progress.
Nothing I saw during my snippet of hands-on time with Tearaway absolutely floored me, but it’s clear that Media Molecule are putting together an adorable little platformer that makes fantastic use of the Vita’s features. Whereas most games on the handheld that’ve required use of touch in the past have struck me as far too gimmicky, the world of Tearaway has clearly been built from the ground up with those features in mind—and it shows. The sheer silliness of seeing a giant human finger plunge out of the screen and up towards the camera as you fiddle with the rear touchpad is quickly surpassed by just how clever and intuitive the challenges you encounter are.
I will say, though, I’m a little skeptical about the potential for real challenge and replayability. Handheld games are always best when they suck up a ton of your time and perpetually keep you coming back for more, and I’m a little worried that Tearaway will be the sort of game you breeze through in a couple of hours and never look back on. The puzzles I encountered, though well designed, took almost no time to solve, and the few platforming deaths I had were negated by the fact that checkpoints were incredibly plentiful.
Still, the demo was quite early in the game, so I’m sure the full experience will have plenty of opportunities to ramp up the challenge and turn me into a full-on addict.