Tearaway – What gaming is all about … and building squirrels

Games like Tearaway remind me why I love gaming so much. Now, that may sound like a bold statement, but getting into games such as Battlefield, COD and FIFA can take away from the truly amazing nature of gaming. Those games are by no means bad, but they are no Tearaway.

This game is beautiful. The paperwork design creates a world that feels alive. Everything in the world feels frail and solid at the same time, like you can mold it to your will, and most of the time you kind of can. Using the Vita’s technology to the full, Tearaway uses the front and rear touchpads, rotation, microphone and both cameras to get you immersed in the story. Whether you use your fingers to slap the Vita causing the character to bounce, or tilt the device to navigate platforms, the storyline is built around taking the normality of mainstream games and throwing it out of the window.

The game goes a step further to personalize the experience by allowing you to customize you character. This can be done at any time using predesigned stickers or by drawing and creating your own shapes. At certain points, the world can also be changed like this. You may meet characters who need a new mouth or hat that they would like you to design. The environment can also be changed as well. At one point you will be asked to design a new shape of snowflake, once finished it will continually snow down on the level, and I am not ashamed to admit that I fashioned a rather lovely cock out of pink paper … it was glorious!

Tearaway

All this adds up to make you feel truly like a part of the game. The front camera is always on and you will catch glimpses of yourself throughout. I often found myself reacting like a character from the game (a little over the top), even though I was on my own in the room. When was the last time you were a character in a game that you were playing? I can’t think of any examples.

Another part of the game sees you putting colour back into objects by taking their picture. But it doesn’t stop there. Once you have restore the colour you will receive that object as a net, that can be printed out to make in real life! With around 50 papercraft objects to find and build, Tearaway is attempting to take over your real world as well. I have already chosen the ones I want. It’s squirrel time!

It is clear that Tearaway wants this to be a social experience as well as anything else and if you don’t own a Vita, borrow a friend’s and give this a go. Whether Tearaway produces more games or not, it is a breath of fresh air and a gaming experience that really shouldn’t be missed.

Developer: Media Molecule
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Europe
Platform: Vita
Genre: Platformer
Player Modes: Single player
Price: £19.99 – £24.99