Hot on the heels of Futurlab’s Velocity getting a Vita native version, comes the re-jigged Coconut Dodge. The company’s first mini, it's not as complex or intense as Velocity but that doesn’t mean that it should be over looked.
The game has been given clean graphical makeover with the beach background and crab now looking sharper than ever. As the game is played in pretty much the same area there wasn’t much more that needed doing. Everything is bright and vibrant and it certainly looks the part.
At its heart, Coconut Dodge is a maze game. You have your little crab at the bottom of the screen and must move it left and right to avoid falling coconuts while grabbing diamonds, gold and other shiny objects. Finish the maze and you move onto the next, more devious one. You can change the speed you move at for later mazes but that's about it.
The mazes get faster and more complex as you go and you are soon caught in the motion of zooming left and right trying to pick up higher scoring jewels while avoiding falling objects. While this is going on beach balls bounce in from the sides. Bouncing these balls the required number of times makes them pop which gives bonus points or slowx down the maze.
Every now and then you will also be able to pick up a Viking helmet which allows you to break coconuts for a limited period. There are thirty mazes in total with them all needing to be completed in a single sitting to beat the game. To do this you have three lives, once these are lost it’s back to the beginning.
This can be a pain as once you have sampled the madness of the later levels the slow early stages are a real drag. Some kind of turbo button to speed up the mazes falling (perhaps for extra points), would have really been appreciated to add something to the initial stages. Some kind of combo scoring system would have also added to the risk reward nature of the game to encourage you try and get the most dangerous low scoring treasure.
There are also a few different things to play around with in ‘more modes’ section. Here you can try to master any maze you have previously beaten in an attempt to get a perfect score. There’s also a keepy-uppy game where you try to keep a beach ball bouncing as long as possible and a hard core mode which only gives you one life to see how long you can last.
The final mode is labelled ‘impossible’, here everything is in shadow so it makes it very difficult to see what is coins and what is coconuts. You also only get one life and this provides the ultimate challenge for seasoned players.
Overall, Coconut Dodge is a good fun game but the sort of game you will likely play in short bursts. It hasn’t got great depth in terms of its scoring system but it’s a fun way to spend some time when you have a few minutes spare. It’s certainly worth its asking price and will likely become a fair few Vita player new obsession. It comes recommended for people looking for some bite sized fun to while away their time and remains a bright and breezy game that contains a lot of charm.