Psarakia Review

Developer: Crazy Soft Publisher: Crazy Soft
Release Date: September 20, 2004 Also On: None

Ice fishing is a sport that a few of my father’s friends participate in on the St. Joseph River here in South Bend during the winter. At times throughout the winter, depending on temperature, the river will freeze about two feet thick, which is enough to support a normal man’s body. I’m not a fan of fishing, and I’m sure as hell not going to trek out to the river in the middle of a cold winter day. Psarakia gives me the chance to go ice fishing from the confines of my toasty home, eating chili, while the sportsmen catch frostbite.

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Psarakia has three difficulty levels: easy, hard, and memory. Each is practically its own game mode, with different challenges of their own to overcome. The most difficult, unless you have Alzheimer’s, would be the hard mode. In memory mode, you’ll need to use what the title describes, your memory to remember pieces. I’ll go into more details in the coming paragraphs.

In easy mode, you need to make horizontal and/or vertical lines of two or more of the same colored fish. You can see the fish under ice cubes. Defrost the ice, freeing the fish, and align them with fish of their color. Simply press down the stylus on the game area and move it across the screen, left, right, up, and down, wherever the same type fish is located, as long as they are connected with one another. Once the ice is broken, pairs will be calculated and points awarded.

Be wary of the life meter on your left. If it depletes completely, you lose, game over. By breaking cubes, you’ll lower this meter notch after notch. You restore this meter by freeing two or more fish at a time. The more fish freed, the more the meter will rise. At the same time, if the meter is low, you’ll need to pay extra attention to not going over your quota, as when it reaches the bottom, there is no calculation of the freed fish, but instead, the game simply ends.

The difference between easy and hard mode is straightforward. In hard mode, you lose life as you play, even when not breaking ice. If defrosted fish are not paired and freed, they’ll freeze over, becoming ice cubes once again. Aside from that, I can’t tell much of a difference.

Memory mode is a nice diversion from the ice cube breaking. In this, there are 12 pairs of fish, all of which are hidden. You can see 2 fish at a given time. The goal is to free pairs of the same fish. This proves more challenging than one might think when you’re playing against the same life bar found in the other two modes.

For those of you that live in regions where ice fishing isn’t a part of life (darn desert rats!), or for those of you, like me, who’d rather not venture into temperatures as extreme as the Yukon, Psarakia is probably the game for you. It’s puzzle fun for a price that’s fair enough for the average Joe.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 5
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8
Final: 7.5
Written by Kyle Review Guide

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