Puzzle games are plentiful on the PS4, but each one strives to carve out its own identity. Usual it’s a gimmick or a mechanic that sets up a unique structure for the gameplay. Vesta is here to offer a fresh take on the puzzle genre that appeals to any age.
This colorful and cute puzzle game offers a series of escalating challenges wrapped in a mystery about the nature of the place you inhabit and the ultimate destiny of its young protagonist and her robot companion. Does it keep you coming back for more, or will this game just grind your gears? Let’s find out!
A Simple Story to Provide Framework
The story in Vesta is delivered through text conversations in the levels, and through beautifully drawn comic panels with text bubbles. You play as Vesta as she awakes in the bottom of a robotic facility.
With the help of a robotic guide and a large robotic companion, she must make her way through the levels of the factory to uncover the mystery behind everyone’s disappearance and ultimately reach safety.
Beyond the sparse cutscenes, there are terminals that provide text logs where you can learn a bit more about Vesta’s world. All of this provides a simple framework for the puzzles, but the story never takes center-stage.
The focus here is on the puzzles, which consist of large rooms where you must avoid danger and transfer energy to terminals and reach the end to power an elevator that takes you to the next stage.
Boss fights come at the end of each major area, but this is the general gameplay loop for the duration of Vesta. Let’s find out how the puzzles add to the experience.
Clever Puzzles Marred by Clunky Controls
Vesta’s puzzles are fun brain teasers that slowly ramp up in difficulty. The mechanics start simple. You are able to take energy from terminals and place it into other locations that power things like doors and platforms.
As you progress, you’ll earn the option to hold more than one unit of energy. When your robot companion joins you, the option to switch to him is unlocked. When playing as the robot, you can shoot missiles that stun enemies. You can also throw Vesta across gaps, assuming your aim is right.
With the extra character, the difficulty climbs upward as you must manage Vesta’s well-being and the health of the robot. The robot can take several hits, while Vesta will go down in one hit. This is frustrating because the levels have very sparse checkpoints, if any at all.
When you’re not dying or accidently throwing Vesta into the abyss, the puzzles and character switching make for some very clever challenges that I really enjoyed. The only problem that raised its ugly head, were the controls.
Vesta and the robot move with a kind of heavy animation that makes it difficult to make accurate movements. I found myself walking off ledges and bumping into enemies more often than necessary because of this.
The Robot’s aiming for the missiles moves in large angles, which made it very difficult to pull off precise shots. The general clunkiness of the controls hampered the experience for me, but the excellent puzzles balanced things out to an extent.
Top things off with a hidden collectibles, and you have a fun, albeit frustrating puzzles experience. With all of the switching between Vesta and her robot, I would have loved to see local co-op included, but sadly this is a single player only experience.
Colorful Graphics and Fun Music
Vesta has a nice art style that reminds me of classic platformers. The use of color keeps things from looking too dull, but the environments fail to really diversify themselves across the games several major areas.
The music is a high point, with a soundtrack that incorporates orchestral elements with intense rhythms for a fun and catchy collection of tracks.
Fatigue and repetition will set in, so I recommend bursts of playing, especially when the controls can cause more problems than necessary.
Despite some rough edges, I enjoyed my time with Vesta. Puzzle gamers looking for a good fix will find a solid amount of entertainment here. If you need some new brain teasers in your life, give Vesta a try.
Final Score: 7.0/10
A copy of Vesta was provided to PS4 Experts for review purposes
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert date - 3/4/18