Bev Chen
04 Aug, 2010

Piyotama Review

PSP Feature | Eggs-ellent fun.
SCE Japan Studio is a developer with an impressive line-up. Their list of games reads very well, with titles such as Demon’s Souls, Ape Escape and Patapon being released to critical acclaim and substantial fan followings. Then somewhere, a puzzle game slipped into the backlog, enjoying quiet success. That puzzle game was Piyotama.

Story-wise, Piyotama is as straightforward as it gets. You must help the Piyomama (yes, the mother hen) hatch as many Piyo eggs as possible. This is done by matching four or more eggs of the same colour in either a horizontal or diagonal row. Of course, this is easier said than done, with the player having to move the ‘egg net’ (as represented by the white border around a row) up and down by using the directional buttons while pushing the eggs in the net left and right in order to line them up. While doing so, players will find that they are left with three eggs in the net on either side of the board. These eggs can then be shuffled around with use of the O or X button and pushed back onto the board, which is your primary way of creating matching rows.

Like any similar puzzle game worth its salt, Piyotama features a combo system. The way it works is very simple – when you match eggs up in a row, you start a combo. Eggs in a combo glow white, which is helpful, and players are still able to take eggs out of a combo line to manipulate them in the manner mentioned above. As you may have guessed, it is then possible to re-use these eggs over and over again to form even more combos.

That’s a lot of combos...

That’s a lot of combos...
Subsequent combos add to the chain, leading to bonus points when the eggs hatch after a short time lapse. Players can also force the eggs to hatch by pressing the L1 and R1 buttons, an especially useful technique if the eggs are starting to pile in too quickly. On the flip side, if players find that they don’t have the right eggs to form a combo, they can press either the Square or Triangle buttons to fill the board with more eggs.

Sound confusing? That's because it is at first, but players will find that it is actually quite easy to grasp after a few minutes of play. That isn’t to say that Piyotama isn’t without challenge as the game ramps up the difficulty as the player progresses. Expect to see more colours of eggs, an increase in the speed at which the eggs fill the board, and a couple of new eggs that will send players scrambling to form a combo. Most notable is the Plump Egg, which prevents whole rows from being shifted around unless removed as part of a combo. All this being said, Piyotama presents a level of challenge that is just enough to keep players addicted and willing to play while managing to add a layer of depth to the otherwise ordinary nature of the game.

In terms of graphics, Piyotama’s cute and colourful art style does the trick nicely. The colours of the eggs complement each other well, but do not hinder the player’s ability to tell them apart in any way. And let’s face it – no matter how many zombies you’ve killed or how many cars you’ve crashed, you’re bound to find the Piyos cute, if only a little bit.

... And that’s a lot of Piyos.

... And that’s a lot of Piyos.
Similarly, the music and sound effects are well-suited to the overall aesthetic of the game. The tunes are infectious and convey a sense of innocence, and the sound effects of the Piyos chirping is used sparingly enough so as not to become annoying. However, players may find that the music will start and stop suddenly, often for no reason at all, which can be disorientating at times.

The original release of Piyotama in 2007 was as a Playstation 3 exclusive, featuring not only a time attack mode and a free-play mode, but also local competitive multiplayer and an online scoreboard. Unfortunately, the PSP version removes the latter two, resulting in a title that can feel rather barren at times. But despite the fact that the PSP version of Piyotama lacks even a basic high-score chart, the remaining two modes are addictive enough to warrant further replays.

Overall, Piyotama is a fun little game with surprisingly deep gameplay mechanics. Its newfound place on the PSP is sure to please gamers who are looking for a quick hit of puzzle action, but beware of this version’s lack of features. Nevertheless, a great buy for puzzle fans of all ages.

Worth buying? Yes


Our PSP Mini/DSiWare ratings system

We give every game a 'buy' rating of 'Yes', 'Maybe', or 'No'.

Yes means this is a very high quality game, and we have no problem recommending it to anyone as long as they like the genre.

Maybe means we think the game is good, but not necessarily for everyone. If you know the game or like the sound of the description, go for it.

No means that we don't recommend the title at all.

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3 years ago
I can't help myself.. I need to say it..

I am SICK of stacking games.

There I said it.

That's not to say this game sucks but whenever I see one.. all I can think is, "Meh.. another one."
3 years ago
Thanks for the review. Tho, I sometimes feel like I'm the only person in the world buying the PSP/PS3 Mini games offered thru PSN. icon_biggrin.gif
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    PALGN recommends: www.Play-Asia.com

Australian Release Date:
  14/07/2010 (Confirmed)
Standard Retail Price:
  $6.95 AU

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