Rodent to recovery
Use your electric reflexes and mental dexterity to guide dazed rodent Diego to safety in Funky Lab Rat, downloadable from PlayStation Store for your PlayStation 3.
Bedraggled but always bright-eyed, Diego needs your help to steer a path through a treacherous laboratory towards freedom. Battling free from his cage and the scientists who kept him prisoner, he must wonder whether he's leapt from a frying pan into a roaring fire.
Standing between Diego and sweet fresh air are 81 increasingly challenging individual rooms. One false step in any of these spells instant death, with sizzling hotplates ready to fry, ravines waiting to swallow up and whirring machines threatening to crush our cheese-starved friend.
Ten worlds of bottomless pits and pest control gone mad must be negotiated, each one deceptively cheery in design with big clunky contraptions that chug away to mysterious ends, random blocks and planks littered about and, best of all, comedy springs to launch Diego squeaking through the air.
Funky Lab Rat's cartoon-like visual style is dangerously misleading, for beneath the dreamy yellows, blues and purples lie conundrums that quickly burrow their way into your brain and refuse to leave until you've cracked them. Diego dreams of escape, and only your ability to think outside the box – or in Diego's case, outside the cage – will make that happen.
Pause for thought
Manipulate gravity, space and time itself thanks to the fortunate side effects of meddling scientists and the result is a puzzle game which challenges you to dream up your own solutions.
Our escaped experiment has a clutch of special abilities to boost his chances of liberation, the most important being the power to pause time. This lets you ponder Diego's next move – literally, as you can make use of the PlayStation Move motion controller to pick up and position objects scattered around each level. You might need to build steps, reposition springs to reach upper levels, and even cobble together a basic car to reach the exit.
Use of the pause function is restricted in each level, so you'll learn tricks to sidestep these limitations, such as pausing Diego in mid-air so you can position a landing platform or build a rickety bridge to act as a platform for a millisecond before collapsing. Topple and you're toast, although a rewind ability means you can start again just before your fatal mistake.
The joy of Funky Lab Rat comes from turning logic on its head, then moving it, jumping on it, and twisting it to your needs. It turns a science laboratory into a giant obstacle course full of delight – science has never been so much fun on PlayStation 3.