Invizimals

Invizimals dev now Sony exclusive

Invizimals dev now Sony exclusive

Novarama signs on the bottom line.

Invizimals maker Novarama is now a Sony exclusive developer.

The Barcelona-based studio will focus on making PlayStation Vita games. It's currently working on Vita launch title Reality Fighters.

Novarama's claim to fame is bringing Augmented Reality gaming to handheld consoles with the Invizimals franchise.

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Invizimals

Invizimals

Imaginary menagerie.

Small as they are, the shadows of the little Pokemon loom large over Sony's new camera-based creature-capture game. As in the evergreen adventures of Pikachu and pals, you discover and catch critters, level them up through combat and then battle your friends to see who has amassed the toughest collection. The twist here is that you're not seeking the creatures out in some whimsical top-down fantasy land, but in real life, using the PSP camera to coax invisible monsters out of hiding.

This is all established through the stodgy single-player Story Mode, which explains how Kenichi, an enthusiastic worker in Sony's R&D department, has discovered that the PSP camera can detect lifeforms invisible to the human eye - Invizimals. Luckily, you have the sort of aura that attracts these mini beasts, and so you're roped in to help his studies. This involves hopping around a world map, undertaking various missions to capture specific Invizimals, and learning the intricacies of combat from Professor Dawson, played with surprising restraint by Brian Bloody Blessed.

The Invizimals themselves are a well-designed and varied bunch, with some groan-inducing pun names such as Porcupain or Bearserker [those are awesome! - Ed]. Combat is built around a familiar rock-paper-scissors set up, with each creature falling into a distinct elemental category - Ice, Fire, Ocean, Desert and so on. You have three types of attack - strong, medium and fast - and combat is real time, rather than turn-based, and mastering the timing required for blocking is essential.

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