N+ PSP Impressions

N+ for the Playstation Portable is every bit as fun, fluid and frustrating as the original, a game that could quite easily become the one title I carry around with me whenever I take long trips, if it weren't for its ability to make me shout out, every time I play the game, a mix of vulgarities so shockingly diverse it even surprises me.

What's good about this port, created by Silverbirch Studios for Atari, is everything that is good about the original. Instead of trying to fix what wasn't broken, the team set their sites on recreating what I've always considered a classic of Flash play.

The character art for N is still little more than a stick figure, rendered so fluidly as to seem alive, and the levels remain a throw back to the days of Lode Runner and Soldat, which is deliberate and works. The ninja isn't quite a sticky as he is in the PC version, now you have to press against the wall to stick, but it's not a huge change from the original, and certainly not enough to distract.

For those of you who have never played the free flash game N, the side-scroller is essentially Lode Runner with a Ninja, a realistic physics engine and lots of exploding deaths.

In it you have to unlock and make your way to an exit while collecting gold. The problem is that the levels are packed with mines, lasers, turrets and guards. You also have your own clumsiness to worry about. Hit a wall, floor or ceiling going to fast and you're dead.

The game's diabolic levels can really test your patience at times, especially with little end game messages like "dirt nap" or "psyche", but the fluid play, the catchy music will keep you coming back for more.

N+ also includes a map editor, community for checking out high scores and custom levels (I assume, I couldn't check it out with my build) and a multiplayer which was also not playable on my build. I can't wait to see the final build of this, but as of now I'd say it's shaping up to be a must by from Atari.


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