Perhaps the most criminally under-appreciated sector of the PlayStation library is its catalog of minis. These smaller scale games have been passed over time and time again, often being labeled as cheap, pointless wastes of time. Well we’re here to remind you that there are some real gems hidden amongst the crowd just waiting to be played ahead of the release of PlayStation Mobile, which will likely replace the platform.
Let us take you through several of the must-play titles. After all, those of you with a Vita need something to play while you wait for Assassin’s Creed: Liberation, right?
A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks! (PS3, PSP, Vita)
Like the title implies, A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks! is a budget-priced space shooter, but don’t let the game’s low price of entry fool you, this is one stellar experience. From its gorgeous colorful aesthetic to some top-notch production values, this hardly looks like a $2 game. The gameplay is also quite solid too. It plays like a typical vertically scrolling space shooter; however, the addition of ship upgrades and a multitude of power-ups keep the experience feeling fresh and exciting. If you have even the slightest affinity for these types of games, Frima Studio’s arcade shooter is a no-brainer.
Monster’s (Probably) Stole My Princess (PS3, PSP, Vita)
This quirky platformer is a must have for those who can appreciate excellent writing with a heavy dose of clever humor. Monsters stars a vampire named the Duke, who has just discovered that his princess has been stolen. It’s up to you to take the Duke through five different worlds as he hunts down the monsters in each, with the assumption that one of them is the culprit. The art style is fantastic and the game’s combo mechanic will have you replaying the experience over and over again in an attempt to achieve a higher score. Platforming fans will have a blast with this one for hours on end.
Velocity (PS3, PSP, Vita)
Velocity is yet another classic space shooter. Now I know what you’re thinking, but there’s so much to love about this game, I simply had to include a second arcade shooter on this list. So what makes this game so amazing? Developer Futurlab has put a very unique twist on an otherwise tried and true formula. Players are able to teleport from one place to another, which tosses a whole new level of complexity into the mix. Oh yeah, and you can throw bombs at oncoming threats while listening to music from the composer of Killzone. Need I say more?
Age of Zombies (PS3, PSP, Vita)
If you enjoy zombie games, look no further because I have just the Mini for you. Age of Zombies is an action packed zombie shooter with a totally awesome and outlandish premise. Thanks to a mad scientist, zombies have taken over and it’s up to you to teleport through time to rid history of these terrible creatures. Ever wanted to mow down a zombie T-rex? Age of Zombies is calling your name.
Who’s That Flying?! (PS3, PSP, Vita)
Mediatonic, the guys behind the aforementioned Monsters (Probably) Stole My Princess created another PS Mini that absolutely demands your attention. Who’s That Flying?! puts you in control of a flying superhero who wields an arm cannon. As you soar across the backdrop of various different cities, monsters known as Ravagers fly at you. As you might expect, you use your trusty arm cannon to shoot them as they fly by. The goal is to take down as many as possible. Let too many get by and you’ll be forced to start over.
Flying Hamster (PS3, PSP, Vita)
Those who have a soft spot for small rodents and cute art will fall in love with The Flying Hamster, a horizontal shooter from The Game Atelier. In this title, you play as Newton, a flying hamster who traverses a number of different environments (ancient Egypt anyone?) taking out a wide array of different enemies, not the least of which include ninja squirrels. It’s a quirky and cutesy shooter that is full of variety and loaded with laughs. The Flying Hamster is great for those looking for some lighthearted fun.
Coconut Dodge (PS3, PSP, Vita)
In addition to creating Velocity, the talented team at FuturLab also crafted the beach-inspired title Coconut Dodge. Players control a crab named Clawrence who must dodge falling coconuts in order to collect treasure that is falling from the trees. The game has a simplistic but charming art style and a soundtrack that will make you want to kick back and grab a piña colada. This fun and addictive experience will have you hooked for many, many hours.
Vector TD (PS3, PSP)
CandyStand.com’s Vector TD appeals to the strategic gamer who likes a good challenge. This tower defense title directs players along a path with the goal of eliminating the oncoming Vectoids by carefully placing towers to take them out. There are a wide array of different towers and upgrades, providing the player with a slew of possible ways to tackle any given situation. As such, if you’re looking for an experience that will exercise your mind as well as your thumbs, Vector TD is the Mini for you.
Where is My Heart? (PS3, PSP)
This 2D platformer is hardly like anything else in its genre. In Where is My Heart? you play as a family of three monsters who go for a hike and get completely lost. In order to help them find their way home, you need to switch between all three of them. The game uses a mechanic known as the Comic Panel Effect, which essentially mixes up parts of the game world, making it difficult to discern where you are and where you’re going. As such, you’ll have to use your puzzle solving skills if you want to succeed.
Hungry Giraffe (PS3, PSP)
Last but not least we have Hungry Giraffe, which plays much like the title would imply. What is so great about this game lies in its simplicity. All the player must do is guide the giraffe as it eats more and more fruit, dodging hazards like falling anvils and dumbbells. The further you progress, the higher the giraffe will go, ultimately reaching outer space. The game’s simple yet addicting mechanics make it an experience that is great if you’re looking for some mindless fun.
Agree with our picks? Think we left some noteworthy titles out? Let us know in the comments below.