Surge Deluxe is FuturLab's attempt to do to the puzzle game what it did to the top-down shooter with Velocity - namely, to apply the defibrillator paddles and give it one hell of a jolt. It's an unusual approach to take to what is traditionally a fairly sedate genre, but it works. Deluxe, a Vita-exclusive version of a game released a little over a year ago on PlayStation Mobile, throbs with a restless, febrile energy.
That's quite the achievement for a match-three game. On the face of it, Surge Deluxe could hardly be more straightforward. You've got two 4x6 stacks of blocks, one on either side of the screen, and your job is to trace a line between like-coloured ones with your finger to get rid of them - though blocks are only in play when they're illuminated, which happens as soon as you can reach them without having to pass through any other blocks. You'll need to be quick about it, mind: pressure is building up in vents at the extremes of each row, and your task is to prevent it spiking on both sides. Once you've removed all the blocks on one side of a row, you can tap an opening to release some of the pressure. Better still, remove the entire row, and you can press both to send a beam of energy across the screen.
But that's just for starters. There are, of course, special blocks that encourage you to think a little more before you match. Each stage adds a score-boosting star to one type of block, while multiplier blocks are obviously best employed when you've made a longer chain. Bombs blow up all blocks of the colour they're linked to, while Chain Linkers allow you to connect two or more strings of different colours. The more blocks you get rid of in one go, the more points you get.