With PlayStation Mobile ending on the 15th you may have opened up the digital store to see if there was anything that caught your eye. With the sheer number of games, and the way they are poorly sorted, I wouldn’t blame you if you took one look and ran. I thought I might help by putting together a little list of games I’ve personally enjoyed and where to find them on the store.
For the uninitiated PlayStation Mobile (PSM) was a software framework created by Sony for development on PlayStation certified devices. This included certain Android phones as well as the Vita/PlayStation TV. These games do not support trophies or cloud saves but can take advantage of features like the Vita’s buttons rather than the touch screen or gyroscope. There was no in-depth vetting process for developers so many of the games on the service were created by new developers who could not get the certification for native Vita development.
PSM is accessed by selecting a tab on the top-right of the PlayStation store on your Vita, and only on your Vita; PSM is inaccessible on your PC or PS3/PS4. Once there you may notice that the search bar which usually occupies the right hand corner of your screen has disappeared. There is no way to search what games are available on PSM. You can only browse the newest releases, featured games and all games sorted by category. For all the games listed below I will include what category the game can be found in and its release date since, in those categories, games are sorted by when they were released.
*Note that I did not include any releases that have native Vita versions like Chaos Rings (released in the prequel trilogy) or Surge (released as Surge Deluxe). The following are games you can only play on your Vita as PSM releases.
Gun Commando is a fun little pickup and play shooter that, while lacking the sprawling environments of Duke Nukem, has a great look and tight controls. The game doesn’t get more complex than pointing and shooting at bad guys, but I enjoyed just having some mindless fun in a shooter.
Shuttle Quest 2000
Offering a mix between running around a little space base and horizontally scrolling missions Shuttle Quest 2000 is not a common mishmash. You assign yourself to missions that require you to go out into enemy territory to destroy ships and get resources in order to upgrade your shuttle. The game’s limited art style and ill defined hit-boxes also make it difficult to tell the actual boundaries of some objects.
Tokyo Jungle Mobile
One of the few Sony developed games to arrive on PSM, Tokyo Jungle Mobile is one of the best games to release on the service. Much like its PS3 counterpart you play as an animal in an overgrown Tokyo, but this time you control your player on a grid from a top-down, isometric perspective. Don’t let the grid fool you though since this real-time game moves at a fast pace; if you don’t quickly hunt/forage for food and claim territory you’ll find yourself dead and back at the start of the game in no time. The only real fault I have with the game is how movement on the isometric grid takes a bit to get used to, but Tokyo Jungle Mobile is certainly worth your time and money.
Behind You is a Japanese developed game that styles itself pretty heavily after the first Metal Gear Solid games. Controlling the protagonist from a top down perspective (with the option to look/shoot in first person ala MGS2) you are charged with sneaking around a facility, collecting keys and avoiding guards. While there are some technical hitches, the game is one of the most technically ambitious game I’ve seen on the service and is worth checking out. Especially if you are looking for more stealth action on your Vita.
Oh, Deer! Alpha
Outrun is one of my all-time favorite arcade games, so just seeing a screenshot of Oh, Deer! was enough to get me to purchase the game. The “Alpha” in the title isn’t there just for show though. With only a single track the game is more of a tech demo than a fully fledged product. Don’t expect an Outrun-sized game, but what’s there is certainly worth the cost of entry.
Gunhouse is a great looking mix between a tower defense and a puzzle game. You have a short window of time to match blocks which creates ammunition for your guns or to create power-ups instead. As the timer runs down, the puzzle game area eventually closes, and you then control the weapons you created to fight off waves of enemies coming from the left side of the screen. Once you have exhausted your ammo, the approaching enemies slow to a crawl, and the puzzle area opens again to let you replenish your supplies. Jumping between the two styles of game keeps things fun and the very low price makes Gunhouse and easy recommendation.
Rebel looks like your usual dual stick shooter at first glance, but once you get your hands on it you’ll immediately notice that you have no weapons. Instead of unleashing a barrage of gunfire, you must place yourself in harm’s way to have your opponents shoot their compatriots. It’s a nice spin on modes like pacifism from Geometry Wars that plays well on the Vita.
Chiebura is a shooter where you must chase after your father as he is sucked down a hot spring. The water at the bottom of the screen will damage you though, so you must control your rabbit friend and have it grab onto any one of the little pegs of the hole. You are able to influence your movement by pressing any direction of the D-Pad to move, propelled by your weapon fire that is shot in the opposite direction. It takes a moment to click but darting all over the screen while dispatching the monsters of the hole is great fun.
There is a soft spot in my heart for behind the back rail-shooters so Star Sweeper, despite it’s simplicity, gets a decent amount of play from me on my Vita. You control a star fighter that is constantly firing into the space in-front of you in an aim to destroy everything you can to get a high score. There isn’t really much to the game aside from having the ability to fire a limited amount of missiles by tapping the icon on touch-screen, but I still enjoy playing the game every once in a while.
Adventure Bar Labyrinth
A free-to-play release supported by microtransactions (which you can earn in-game), this roguelike game is a pretty easy recommendation due to the price, but it’s clean art-style and quick gameplay are good enough I would have paid for the game upfront. As you descend into the dungeon you are only given one chance to reach the bottom and dying along the way will send you back to the start without your loot. That may sound daunting, but for a roguelike, the game is pretty easy compared to something like The Binding of Isaac. So if you are looking for an approachable roguelike Adventure Bar Labyrinth is a great pickup. Just note that quitting the game is the only way to save!
Rymdkapsel is not your traditional RTS game. Instead of building up a base on a playing field, your base is your playing field. Starting off with a set amount of resources you are responsible to expand your spaceship by dragging Tetris style blocks onto the screen and having your crew construct the new sections to collect resources, fight off invading enemies, house your crew and more. As you take more control of space you’ll eventually uncover monoliths at the edges of the map that provide power-ups once researched; you have reason to expand quickly, but this may leave you vulnerable to the waves of enemies that will attack your ship. Once you’ve mastered Rymdkapsel the game doesn’t offer anything more beyond that one level, but portable RTS-style games are hard to come by on any platform. So if you have any interest in the genre you should give Rymdkapsel a look.
This list is by no means the extent of what is available on PlayStation Mobile. Digging around that marketplace looking at the the releases is something I’m going to miss once the store goes away in a couple days so I implore you to set aside a couple dollars and explore what’s available!