Review: Sparkle 2 (PS4/PS3/PSV)

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Cross Platform Information:

  • Cross-Buy Yes
  • Cross-Save No
  • Cross-Play No
  • Cross-Chat No
Title: Sparkle 2
Format: PlayStation Network Download (PS4 91.3 MB) (PS3 251 MB) (PSV 251 MB)
Release Date: March 10, 2015
Publisher: 10tons Ltd.
Developer: 10tons Ltd.
Original MSRP: $7.99 (US), €6.99 (EU), £5.79 (UK)
ESRB Rating: E
PEGI: 3
Sparkle 2 is also available on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android.
The PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PlayStation Vita versions were used for this review.
A copy of this game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy

Gameplay:
A simple and relaxing game of Sparkle 2 often turns into a tense panic-inducing struggle to keep the lines of marbles from disappearing into the darkness. Your goal is a simple one: to match three or more marbles by flinging the same colored ones at a snaking line that’s always being pushed toward a level ending bottomless pit by what looks like a scorpion shaped piece of gold.

 

You have to play through the Story mode to unlock the Survival and Challenge modes which both add another layer of longevity to this addictive game. The strange and bizarre story mode includes ninety plus levels that need to be played through on each system as there is no Cross-Save. Oh and whilst I’m mentioning the three platforms I should point out that they each have their own trophy list.

This orb slinging match-three game has a gradual and enjoyable difficulty curve that is very easy to learn. Sparkle 2 seems to play a tiny bit better on the PlayStation 4 compared to the PS3. Whereas the Vita makes the game almost laughably easy, at least in the beginning, thanks to the touch screen aiming. You can use the touch pad on the PS4 to aim which isn’t as bad as it may sound and a few might even prefer that method. On each system you can and probably will end up using the left analog stick to aim and Cross to fire an orb. It’s the most natural control method for me and I always end up using it even when playing on the Vita.

Sparkle 2_20150215135036 Sparkle 2_20150215135408

My only issues with this charming and fun game is the clunky Power-up selection process. The story and visual style might not be to everyone’s taste as well. However if you like quick thinking puzzle games then this Cross-Buy title is well worth your time and money. There isn’t much else to say about the game which is main reason why I added the video showing some gameplay.

… a very pleasant surprise …
Visuals:
The PlayStation 3 version seems slightly washed out compared to the luscious PlayStation 4 and Vita versions. A nice feature that should be in more games is happily in this one and that’s a Colorblind Assist mode. It can be accessed in the Options Menu on each system and adds some symbols to the different colored marbles.

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Sparkle 2 has a very distinctive and colorful style that reminds me of old childhood storybooks full of magic and adventure. Each level does try to capture its own theme but you won’t be paying attention to the static backgrounds of those levels or even the story scenes for that matter as the never-ending rolling marbles will hold your gaze.

Audio:
Some surprisingly good voice acting in the story sections accompanies a beautiful and wondrous soundtrack by Jonathan Geer which lulls you into a relaxed and comfortable state. Then a marble gets too close to the dark black hole and a frightful, tense tune plays and doesn’t stop until the danger has gone.

Marbles and spells have a satisfying clink and a swoosh respectively and all in all the audio for this game is truly remarkable and totally unexpected. Sparkle 2 is real pleasure to the ears and well worth a listen no matter which PlayStation platform you play it on.

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Online/Multiplayer:
This game is single player only.

Conclusion:
Sparkle 2 is a very pleasant surprise and an astonishingly addictive game that truly excels in the audio department. It includes solid gameplay and a nice difficulty curve that should last a decent amount of time thanks to a couple of modes after the story section is finished with. Not forgetting the fact that it’s Cross-Buy so you can take it on the go thanks to an identical Vita version.

Score:
8.5

* All screenshots used in this review were taken directly from the game using the Vita’s built in screen capture feature and the Share functionality on the PlayStation 4.

PS Vita Screenshots

PS4 Screenshots

Written by Chazz Harrington

Chazz Harrington

You can find me on everything: PSN, Twitter, Wii U, Origin, Steam, etc using my universal ID: ChazzH69

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