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PS3 Fanboy review: Piyotama

Piyotama is the most recent original title from Sony to hit the PlayStation Store, and unlike the most recent offerings, it's actually not a dual-analog shooter. Instead, Piyotama is a puzzler somewhat along the lines of Bejeweled, where you are tasked with matching up eggs of the same color for mama Piyo (a large chicken with a seemingly endless supply of eggs).

On paper, the title offers a lot. You have a bargain-bin price of $2.99, attractive and well done graphics with 1080p support, online leaderboards and decent Sixaxis support. Unfortunately, when you fire up the game you realize that it's not enough, the one thing Sony forgot in to put in is decent gameplay that rewards skill. Hit the jump to find out what went wrong.

The game starts off pleasantly enough, with the mama Piyo dropping a clutch of eggs into a hollowed out tube/tree shell that serves as your playing area. The background is a pleasant countryside view with a crisp, handpainted look that is both cheery and appealing to casual gamers. The eggs themselves are a variety of colors and are nicely rendered, with nary a stray pixel or jaggy edge anywhere in the entire game to detract from the attractive graphics.

Unfortunately, the game starts to fall a part almost as soon as you start playing. The way you move around eggs is just plain broken, not to mention difficult to describe. As you can see in the above screenshot, you highlight a one line of eggs at a time by pressing up or down on the D-pad. Once you've selected a line, you press left or right (depending on which side of the screen you're on) and you push the three eggs in the accordian-like storage compartment into the main playing field, which will then force three eggs into the compartment on the other side of the screen.

The only eggs you can actively switch around are the three in the accordian egg compartment (or AEC as I call it), which you you can rotate by pressing the X or O buttons. It's a frustrating gameplay element, which leaves the eggs in the middle of the playing field almost untouched and difficult to position. Once you do finally get four eggs of one color in a line, you have a few seconds where you can rapidly swap eggs in and out to try to create additional lined up eggs for big-scoring combos.

And this is where the real annoyance of the game comes into effect -- the most effective way to score points is just to press buttons randomly. By rapidly switching lines and swapping the eggs in the AEC around quickly, you can build up fairly large combos with no skill or thought. In fact, you are much more likely to build up large combos this way than you are via careful, studious play -- a fatal flaw in a puzzle game.

There are some tweaks and twists to the gameplay to make it more entertaining, like being able to shake the eggs around by shaking the Sixaxis (which is a lot of fun) and special eggs and power-ups. They also have online leaderboards, which includes the now standard and still awesome Friends leaderboards too. Unfortunately, all the parts just don't add up to a game that is worth putting a lot of time into.

Much has been made about the difficulty of reviewing casual games, and it honestly is a little tricky. I mean, this game cost half what the gyro I had for lunch cost, and while it is by no means a game I will continue to come back to -- I'd say I got my 3 dollars worth out of it. The graphics really are quite appealing, and the incredibly easy/random gameplay rewards non-gamers who just want something simple and brainless that looks pretty. If you have $2.99 sitting in your PlayStation Store wallet and want something colorful and bubbly to mess around with for a weekend, then go ahead and try out Piyotama -- just don't expect it to be the chicken egg puzzler you've always dreamed about.

PS3 Fanboy Score: 5.0

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Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. Bargain price of $2.99 in U.S. but $3.99 in Canada... Same game, internet delivery, yet 35% more expensive while cdn$ is almost at par with us$

After that, they will wonder why people have multiple accounts!!!!

Posted at 5:52PM on Aug 17th 2007 by Real Gambler

2. i kinda disagree with this review. i think once you get past the simplistic feel of the game, you'll see (especially if you're gunning for leaderboards) that the game actually holds a pretty good challenge. the trick is nailing combos on the inside of the grid. it's super easy to hit them on the outside, but pairing them up on the inside is much harder, especially as the levels get higher. for 3 bucks it's a good game.

Posted at 6:00PM on Aug 17th 2007 by a.j.

3. If it were a perfect world it should be 3.16 Canadian but it looks so much cheaper if they round it to 3.99

I don't have a credit card so I cannot buy anything anyways.

Posted at 6:01PM on Aug 17th 2007 by Andy

4. for 3 bucks how could you lose? is the only real question you need to ask yourself

Posted at 6:03PM on Aug 17th 2007 by doug

5. How could you lose?
By buying yet another 'join the balls' game.
Someone give me a reason to buy this game.

Posted at 7:21PM on Aug 17th 2007 by Vince UK

6. I made an impulse buy of this just for kicks and giggles...

I would give it more of a 6.2

At 1st I had the same impression as Colin, frusterating and just switchin the eggs around randomly and fastly, I played it for bout 30min and was like meh... Thought what the hell I'll give it a spin a few days later and this time I actually was more patient and tried to figure out a little strategy, I had more fun... I know, I know, this game looks silly and kid-like but its alright for $2.99 and only if you like puzzle games obviously.

Posted at 9:42PM on Aug 17th 2007 by never$$hort

7. First of all, props to Colin for describing without a wasted word how pretty this game is. I loved the look of this, but I have no way to purchase it.
Still, after your review, I definately would, and consider it $3 well-spent, because sometimes I just want to mindlessly feel like I'm winning at something and if for $3 I can do that every now and then, I'm happy.
My only questions, are the graphics always the same? This would reduce the value considerably. It would be much funner to have new background every 3-5 wins.
Also I don't recall that music was mentioned. If the music sucks or doesn't change up enough, this could be very bad.

Posted at 9:44PM on Aug 17th 2007 by John

8. @John:
The backround changes every level up and I think the music does too...

-PS3fanboy changed one of my words, gay to silly, hey!!! Gay means happy!! sheesh...

Posted at 9:54PM on Aug 17th 2007 by never$$hort

9. Never$$hort,
While I know you didn't say it in a derogatory sense, using that word as a synonym of 'bad' is still insulting to a lot of people. We're cracking down on all insulting language by posters in an attempt to make our comments section a more fun place to be.

So yep, I edited your post. Consider this a warning, you're a regular so I wanted to let you know -- but people are starting to get banned for foul language / insulting posts and I'd rather you didn't get blacklisted. :)



Posted at 10:01PM on Aug 17th 2007 by Colin.Torretta

10. Props to you Colin! It's a good thing to cut down on!

As for the game, I'm in the club that disagrees with you on your review. It's quite enjoyable, and for 3 bucks, why not? Me and my wife play endless rounds of the multiplayer with her kicking my chicken's butt every time :)

Posted at 1:49AM on Aug 18th 2007 by fetcher.nwah

11. @Colin.Torretta:

Its all good bro, I know you're just doing your job. I was just giving you a tough time in a teasing way because I've never actually seen you guys moderate and edit posts before... I appreciate the warning, and just so everyone is clear, Will you begin to moderate and ban people for all offensive langauge or just clear direct insults of others?? What about trolls that deliberately come on this site soley to annoy and offend our fellow users?? I am not speaking of people that have opposing views or disagree on certain issues, just the people that come on here to straight up annoy the crap out of us?

Thanks Colin I'm happy you guys are starting to clean house!!

Posted at 6:45PM on Aug 18th 2007 by never$$hort

12. Never$$hort,
Mainly we've trying to get rid of spammers, trolls and griefers. Just generally trying to clean up the language in our comments section.

For language though, we generally just edit the post or talk to the person and let them know. :)


Posted at 8:20PM on Aug 18th 2007 by Colin.Torretta

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