SOE unveils PSP games

Two new puzzlers for autumn.

Because no handheld can ever have too many puzzle games in its back catalogue, Sony Online Entertainment has announced GripShift and FRANTIX for PSP.

Screeeeeenshots: FRANTIX and GripShift.

Both games will get a full unveiling at E3 next week, but SOE has revealed a few details to keep us occupied in the meantime.

GripShift combines stunt driving, platform action and puzzle-solving into one spanky new 3D racer. There are six characters to choose from and more than 100 levels, set over four themed worlds - Ice, Jungle, Horror and Desert - with plenty of power-ups to collect, shortcuts to find and pitfalls to avoid.

Up to four players can complete via the PSP's wireless capability, and you can also wirelessly share circuits you've created in the game's Track Editor. Plus there are eight bonus games for solo or multiplayer entertainment, including Ice Hockey, Soccer Crazy and the excellent-sounding Penguin Bowling.

If you prefer your puzzlers with the more traditional coloured gems rather than souped-up stuntcars, you might want to opt for FRANTIX instead. Billed as "the first character-based 3D puzzle-solving adventure for the PSP", it features more than 150 levels to explore in a race against time.

Each environment is filled with hazards - from lava and quicksand to mantraps and monsters - and it's up to you to find a safe path through. Your job is made easier with the aforementioned coloured gems, which help you advance to higher levels and offer temporary speed boosts, invincibility and the like.

No multiplayer mode is mentioned, but you can compete against a friend to see who gets the fastest time. If you like.

Both GripShift and FRANTIX are slated for an autumn release, and well briNg you MORE details neXt WEEK.

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