Sanuk Games released three games separately for the Xbox Live Marketplace back in 2009. Specifically, these were initially available as Indie titles costing players 240 MSP or $3 each. Now, Playstation 3 owners in North America get to enjoy all of these gems in one single package called the Arkedo Series for $5.99. But will this transfer over to the Playstation Network be well received by these players of this particular video game console?
The first game within the series is called JUMP, which is a 2D platformer. For the story behind this particular game, there’s a giant iron crab that has dropped bombs. You play as JumpBoy who must travel from one platform to the next and collect all these bombs before they explode. The controls are very simple with movement using the d-pad and a single button used for jumping. Along the way, you’ll have crabs, bats, and skeletons that will cause you harm and thus you must avoid during your travels. Everything is presented in an 8-bit retro style with limited animation loops for the characters. However, this is all presented in a high definition manner with the colors and graphics looking clean and crisp. The music is also pretty enjoyable and manages to keep itself from sounding repetitive by changing every several levels.
JUMP consists of 30 levels within the adventure mode which can take a matter of a few hours to complete. Afterwards, you’ll unlock another mode which lets you play each level with the objective of collecting coins and other items. Successfully doing so will allow you to access level 31, in which case the difficulty is ramped up quite significantly. Such an implementation keeps the players addicted to this particular game.
Swap is the second title within the Arkedo Series where you have a match-four puzzle game. Here you have items and blocks which allow it to stand out a bit from other games of this puzzle genre. Specifically, the time blocks pauses the action for just a couple of seconds while lightning will explode an area within the surrounding blocks. The game looks pretty attractive and friendly with the use of colors and attention to detail.
While the controls are easy to get used to, it can still be very challenging when the puzzles speed up as you progress further in later levels. Swap has a couple of modes, including the story, arcade and challenge, thereby adding some variety to its gameplay. Challenge mode is where you have some diversity considering that there are additional objectives to complete. Overall, Swap can also get addictive and difficult at the same time.
Lastly, you have Pixel, the third and final game within the Arkedo Series. You control Pixel the Cat as you help him return home. In terms of the controls, you’ll be able to jump, dash, and perform a meow-attack against your enemies. If you kill five enemies in a row without taking damage, you’ll fill your meow-meter which you can use to perform a single attack which can eliminate several enemies simultaneously. Such a control scheme makes Pixel a 2D platforming game that’s easy to pick up and play right away. Throughout the levels, you’ll encounter a block with an exclamation point which will have you solving a puzzle in a form of a maze. If you complete successfully, you’ll be rewarded with health or open a path within the level.
Pixel stands out amongst the games within the Arkedo Series with its pixilated appearance. While it may not have the most colors, its style coupled with the high definition graphics is what makes this game a treat to look at. The music and sound effects are effectively implemented with the visual presentation, making Pixel a wonderful package.
All three games within the Arkedo Series offer something unique be it in the form of gameplay as well as presentation. They are all simplified in comparison to other titles within either the 2D platforming or puzzle genres. This can be a double-edged sword as it can limit the amount of entertainment you can get out of this. Nonetheless, the $5.99 price tag attached to Arkedo Series, which is available in the Playstation Network right now, makes it a steal. This is definitely worth checking out especially if you’re a fan of these types of games.