Thanks Sony but my PS Vita is just a £250 Frobisher Says machine


Frobisher says

I don’t want this to come off as ungrateful. So dear Daddy Sony, thank you for Vita. I understand that you’ve given us a slightly-bigger-than-pocket-sized marvel of technical cleverness. I know it could do anything, and I am truly and fully impressed. It’s just that the only thing I want to do with all this cleverness is play the stupidest game I’ve ever come across.

And Frobisher Says is really stupid. In terms of glorious idiocy, it outdumbs Warioware. It looks at the fool eccentricity of Bishi Bashi Special and snorts derisively. Compared to Frobisher’s surly cartoon absurdity, those games are mere silliness. They’re just splashing in the shallows of daft: Frobisher is neck-deep in the stuff, hooting insults at you with Kevin Eldon’s voice.

Frobisher SaysI could be treasure hunting with Drake. Don’t want to. I could be zinging footballs around the touchscreen in the greatest handheld football game ever made. Not interested. I could be racing a zoomy aircraft in a trance-beat future, but I’m not – and I’m probably never going to be, because my Vita is for one purpose and one purpose only: dodging the wrath of a rugby-ball headed fusspot.

In terms of technical-grandeur-to-function ratio, this probably strikes some of you as a little bit of a mismatch. Like buying a Rolls-Royce, painting it yellow and chuntering around shouting, “LOOK, I’M NODDY!” out of the window. For the best part of 300 quid, I have bought myself a dedicated Frobisher console. Thanks for the hard work over the past three decades, games industry, but all I wanted was a snazzed-up Game & Watch.

And here’s another stupid thing: I didn’t even have to buy Frobisher. Sony treated it as a throwaway freebie, chucking in a download code as a preorder come-on. As far as my play time is concerned, you might as well bung the rest of the Vita catalogue down a hole. I wouldn’t even notice you digging it – I’d be too engrossed in following the petulant directions of the Frobe. Remember the PS1 ads? “I have conquered worlds” and all that vainglorious jazz? Well, I have opened clams. Thousands of clams, tweaking the front screen to tug their little shells apart. (Frobisher’s morose verdict? “I don’t even like clams.”)

Frobisher Says

I have also swished a fan by wafting the console back and forth, rained on a parade, slashed a cactus by sweeping my finger over the picture, and caught scores of sneaky kittens who only come out in the dark (the D-pad turns into a light switch to help lure them out). In a gaming world of infinite adventure, these are the things I want to do – and in a way, it makes sense. I can imagine robbing heritage sites all for myself, ta, but my brain has never produced anything as glorious as drawing a face on an egg and then smashing it to yolky bits. All you can do is grin.

Well, actually, you don’t just grin. Frobisher Says can tell when the player is flashing their teeth, and in the game Smile At The Ladies, Don’t Smile At The Badgers it uses your face as a controller. You see, Frobisher’s craziness is built on the foundations of Vita’s astounding smarts, which developer Honeyslug has used sublimely well. Frobisher Says is the art of stupidity perfected – and I’m its perfect audience.