Developer: Media Molecule
Release date: November 22, 2013
Pros: Amazing art direction, good music, immersive and interesting use of the Vita hardware
Cons: On the short side, not challenging at all, tedious gameplay
From the makers of LittleBigPlanet comes Tearaway, a visually beautiful game with impressive art direction and and a great sense of style. Unlike the majority of Vita games it uses the Vita system nose-to-tail, so to speak. The touchscreen, rear touchpad, gyro sensors, camera, and microphone are all used creatively and in a way that immerses the player, who, by the way, is able to customize this adventure to his or her liking by way of papercraft models and designs.
That's the good. Now the bad. It's not much fun to play. The game is far too easy. The platform sections, which are few and far between, are simple and straightforward, and, with infinite lives and checkpoints every 20 feet, there is no cost to failure. The same holds true for the arena sections, where waves of disposable enemies appear. They're dispatched with little effort.
|Yes, riding a rampaging pig through a field is as fun as it sounds.|
Apart from that, the gameplay in general is underdeveloped. There are some interesting sections of the game, slides and piggyback riding most notably. But they're too short and too simple. Platforming is woefully underused and unsophisticated. As mentioned earlier, it's foolproof. And, while the rear touchpad and touchscreen functionality makes Tearaway unique, it serves to make the platforming areas uncomfortable. It's no fun doing finger gymnastics while trying to cross a bottomless pit. The awkward camera doesn't help either.
The best way to describe Tearaway might be as an interactive art exhibit. Using the Vita camera, players can, quite literally, put themselves in the game. They can photograph their living rooms or soda cans or even their own faces and impose those images into the papercraft world. In addition, they can cut custom objects from colored paper using their fingers as a stylus, and customize the hero (or heroine) of the story at an time with a range of facial features and accessories.
In the end Tearaway is an interesting, artistic game that celebrates individuality, but also one that's too easy, too simple, and too in love with it's own papercraft universe.