Published by Sony Computer
Developed by Supermassive Games, Team 17, SCEJ Tokyo Studio
Move Mind Benders is essentially a compilation of three separate puzzle games which makes use of the PlayStation Move controller. The three different games you'll find in the compilation are Lemmings, Echochrome II and Tumble. Each of the three games in this compilation certainly has its merits and it was one of the first games I've come across where I was genuinely pleased with how the Move controller has been used to make the method of control feel more natural.
Like most people out there I had a pretty good idea of what to expect with Lemmings and Echochrome II so I decided to take a look at Tumble first of all. Essentially Tumble is a block manipulation game which sees you virtually grabbing blocks of various sizes and performing various tasks with them. You might be tasked with building a tower from the blocks, stacking as many blocks as you can on a surface or even demolishing existing structures. The blocks vary in shape and size and you even have to take the materials they are made of into account. The idea is to earn a gold medal for each of the game's challenges but there are other medals too, for meeting special requirements. There is even support for local multiplayer and only one Move controller is required.
Lemmings is a game that will be known to most people. On any given level in the game your lemmings will exit the door and it's up to you to guide them all safely (or at least the required amount of lemmings) to the exit. Most levels have a sprinkling of hazards that can bring your lemmings to a sticky end. You don't have direct control over your lemmings but you can bestow a particular item or ability upon them to enable them to make their way back safely (or direct the flow of other lemmings safely) to the exit. The game may be an old one but it's as enjoyable as ever. Previous console versions were good but the Move controller offers an intuitive control scheme which easily surpasses using a standard console controller where you have to push the analogue sticks around to control the cursor.
Echochrome II is essentially a puzzle game where you control a light source and have to manipulate the shadows in order to solve the puzzles. You have to provide a safe pathway for your shadow mannequin to reach the exit point. You'll do this by shining your light source (you effectively use the Move controller as if it were a real torch/flashlight) on to the blocks in any given level in order to cast shadows, which will allow your shadow mannequin to find a safe route to the exit. The trick is essentially to find the correct angle from which to shine the light. This may seem like a simplistic description but in actual fact the puzzles are very enjoyable. In addition to the main single-player mode you can also create your own levels and upload them for others to share. You can of course download levels that others have created.
Visually the games are all different. Echochrome II retains the elegant but simple style that the Echochrome series has become famous for and is certainly the most stylish of the three games. Lemmings retains the almost cartoon style of the previous games in the series and is charming in its own way. Tumble doesn't really have the charm or the style of the other two games but looks good nevertheless. There's only so much you can do for a game that's all about manipulating blocks but it looks good enough. The game's presentation on the whole is impressive but it's a shame that there is no way of switching from one game to the next without quitting the game and then reloading it.
On the whole Move Mind Benders is a decent experience for deaf gamers, although it's worth mentioning that each of the three games differs slightly in their support. All of the important information in Lemmings is shown visually. There is speech in Echochrome II but what speech there is subtitled. In Tumble some of the speech is subtitled but there are omissions. The announcer's comments in Tumble are not subtitled. The basic tutorial information is shown in text but there is more information given verbally than there is in text. Minor issues aside, none of the games should pose any real problems.
Move Mind Benders is an enjoyable compilation of three puzzle games that makes intelligent use of the PlayStation Move controller. The asking price is just under £18 (and it can be purchased for less online) and at that price it's great value for money. Out of all the PlayStation Move games I've played so far, I reckon this is the most enjoyable and the one that feels as though it's putting the Move controller to the best use. It's a shame that the three games have just been plonked on the disk however with no way of switching between them. Having to quit out of the game and reload it just to switch the games feels clumsy. It's not much of a complaint however given the overall quality of the games and the value for money.