webbed feat

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 June, 2007, 12:00am

Take a break from the blood and gore of GTA and the mind games of Ridge Racer to relive the bath-time fun of childhood with a novel little game from software genius Sony. Available on Sony's download service for the PlayStation 3 (PS3), Super Rub a Dub is a puzzle game that requires you to move a rubber duck around a playing field that resembles a bath tub. You must collect baby rubber ducks and lead a train of them safely to an exit point (the plug hole).

Sound easy? Not quite. Super Rub a Dub is controlled by tilting the PS3's wireless six-axis controller; this, in turn, tilts the virtual tub and moves the rubber duck around. At times these controls seem awkward and hard to master but after a while you gain some measure of control.

Each level comprises a simple maze that contains several baby rubber ducks imprisoned inside bubbles waiting to be rescued. However, danger lurks behind every corner. Evil wind-up toy sharks patrol the waters and they have a taste for ducklings. A violent upward jerk of the wireless controller will cause the tub to bounce, flipping your enemies and giving you a few precious seconds to escape by jumping over a wall (after which you start the game again) or into another tub, with ducklings in-tow.

The multiplayer mode is the major let-down of the game. Instead of having an intense four-player battle over the ducklings, the game designers have taken a passive approach: opponents take turns playing at the same level, aiming to complete a maze in the fastest time.

The graphics are superb and presented in 1080p high definition - the water is exceptionally well rendered. With the tubs floating in a cloud-dotted sky, the game has a surreal quality. The soundtrack comprises the mellow digital synth music you'd normally hear on the weather channel. It's soothing qualities won't distract you from gameplay.

Fans of the puzzle genre will enjoy this game and at a mere HK$58, it's a good buy.

Pros: Great graphics, interesting concept and gameplay.

Cons: Boring multiplayer mode and, at times, the controls are either too sensitive or unresponsive.