Trying to explain the concept of the game in a few sentences will be difficult, but we'll try our best. Challenged with a rectangular playing field [a.k.a. bin], you'll be presented with a range of junk - from simple office stationery to entire golf courses (really); you're tasked with manipulating each item's unique physics to break up the rubbish and fit it in the trash can. Along the way, you'll be given precious items to protect, along with game changing special abilities to make the level completable - do you decompose or burn rubbish for example?
All in all, we recommend you watch the video of us playing the game at the foot of this review - it should give you a better idea than words can.
We're pretty certain that if you look up the words "quirky", "original" or "unique" in the dictionary, they are accompanied by a screenshot of Trash Panic. Not only is it glaringly different from any other puzzle game, it's mechanics are also strikingly unique. In fact, when trying to describe the game to others the best we could come up with was Katamari meets Tetris; but that still doesn't really fit the bill.
At £3.99, Trash Panic is packed with stuff to do. If you're someone who feels like they could get into this, you'll find multiplayer, three alternative difficulties, scoreboards and outrageously challenging "Missions" to complete — all of which are tied into trophies that no average man will obtain.
It certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea, but we really enjoyed the sound-track in Trash Panic. It's brash and noisey, but very inviting and suitable.
The actual gameplay mechanics in Trash Panic are rather fun: plunging decomposition balls into water will allow litter to be degraded and earn you points as a more ecological player. However, burning rubbish by carefully observing heat and oxygen levels will clear the screen quicker, yet pollute the environment. These are true moral choices people.
Even on its very hardest difficulty setting, Trash Panic is very, very challenging. You have to have a very strong understanding of what's going on before you'll even get a sniff of a chance towards beating a level. And even then you'll have to hope that the glitchy placement of a piece of litter doesn't hinder progress.
Not only is the game sadistically difficult, but there's also a real tough learning curve. You'll start out not knowing what's going on. You'll read the instructions and still not really have a clue. Trial and error is the key to success here; something which will frustrate many.
Trash Panic is an original, inventive puzzle game with an unexpected level of depth considering its asking price. Sadly the fierce learning curve will make this game inaccessible to most.