| Proteus

When Proteus launched on PC earlier this year, it was quite the polarising experience.

Plenty of people lauded its unique, gorgeous, rather un-game-like offering, while others simply couldn't see what all the fuss was about. It was difficult to recommend without qualification.

This PS Vita version of the pixellated exploration title does a good job of introducing more structured gameplay, but technical issues threaten to throw the journey off course.

Out for a stroll

Proteus is a game about discovery, exploration, and simply going for a walk in the wilderness.

You wake up on a randomly generated, pixellated island, with no clear goal in sight. As you begin to wander, creatures and insects pop up and dance around you, the weather changes, and ambience is all.

Birds flap by on their way to nowhere in particular; light bounces off the sea as the sun goes down; bees hunt you down if you venture too close to their hive.

There's plenty to see in Proteus, and although it turns out that there is a way to "beat" the game, most of your time is spent simply swanning around and catching glimpses of all sorts of sights and sounds.

The sounds in particular make this a delightful stroll. Frogs plink and plonk as they hop away, and owls hoot as you walk by. The music, too, is utterly wonderful, complementing the experience perfectly.

Proteus: The Game

Once I'd played through all 30 minutes of Proteus on PC, I didn't feel the need to go back again. With the Vita version, there are numerous reasons to return.

For a start, the new Proteus trophies act as a sort of mystery scavenger hunt, giving you clues about where you need to go to unlock them.

Meanwhile, you can mess around with generating islands based on the day or your location, and new touchscreen and back panel Vita options let you fiddle with the colours of the world.

But Proteus on the Vita has its quirks. The frame rate is noticeably chuggy at time - especially when you're turning the camera - and this really makes a dent on the experience.

And the turning circle is excruciatingly slow, creating a sense that the entire game is in slow-motion.

Finally, it's worth noting that, regardless of the new elements, Proteus is still not going to be for everyone. It's a very peculiar experience that doesn't conform to traditional video game conventions. If you're not a fan of arthouse games, you won't like this one.

If the frame rate issues can be resolved, the Vita version of Proteus will most definitely be the best one. As it stands, it's still worth experiencing if you're open to the more creative, conceptual, and daring extremes of video game design.


With the new scavenger hunt included, the Vita version of Proteus has something to offer that the PC version didn't, but it's still a polarising experience
Mike Rose
Mike Rose
An expert in the indie games scene, Mike comes to Pocket Gamer as our handheld gaming correspondent. He is the author of 250 Indie Games You Must Play.