Little Deviants

Insipid Blobs

Sticking it in a bundle is one way to get rid of Little Deviants.
Author: J.D. Cohen
Published: March 5, 2012
For those brave, impatient souls who purchased the Vita's First Edition Bundle, Little Deviants is an unavoidable acquisition. Now that the dust has settled and the used game market is surely filling up with cheap copies, should the rest of us take a look and see what it has to offer? I'm not using that as a rhetorical question to set up the rest of this review. I'll tell you right now, the answer is no. Little Deviants is bad, and utterly without distinction.

The lack of creativity on display can be seen by looking at the protagonists, the deviants. The deviants are a group of aliens who have crashed their spacecraft here on Earth, and in order to get back to wherever, they must complete a series of minigames in order to obtain parts for the ship. So, they're a bit like Sega's aliens Toe Jam and Earl, but without the funk. Physically, the deviants are little blobby balls, and each one has a different gimmick: there's an ice guy; there is a fire guy. They are milquetoast Madballs without the variety. The deviants are characterized as mischievous, which is communicated by a touch of restrained cackling; this brings us to the most obvious inspiration, the Raving Rabbids.

Playing Little Deviants, I yearn for even the tiniest shred of personality to shine through. The games featuring those weird Rayman spinoff Rabbids are not particularly interesting in terms of gameplay, but at least they have a bit of gormless charm. The deviants have no such thing. Their supporting cast is equally boring; zombies and robots are present, as well as cats, though apparently the word "cat" isn't wacky enough. In this world, cats are referred to as "moggers." One can't help but imagine the bored looks at the brainstorming session from whence that came.

Making Little Deviants had to at least be more exciting than the act of playing it. The minigames are tedious and repetitive. There are far fewer games than it appears, as each instance of what would in any other package be described as a stage of a particular minigame is broken out and given its own name like a pair of rolled up socks stuffed down the front of one's shorts. What little there is to see is regrettable.

Little Deviants uses every weird alternative input method offered by the Vita, and it makes a great case against their utilization in games. Whether it involves singing into the microphone, tilting the Vita, using the camera or fondling the rear of the Vita (I'm sorry, but that hasn't gotten old yet), every second you spend with Little Deviants will make you wish you could simply use the damned sticks and buttons. The rear touchpad comes out looking particularly bad. Touchscreens already present problems for games, primarily in terms of the lack of tactile feedback; with the wonders of rear touch, not only can't you feel what you're doing, but you can't see it either. Other software has already demonstrated that the rear touch panel can be used in interesting and functional ways, but Little Deviants manages to make it look like a complete joke.

Had it at least been executed competently, it could have showcased the potential of Sony's fancy new device. That was clearly the directive given from on high, somewhere within Sony. As it is, the built-in "Welcome Park" software does a far better job. Little Deviants is permeated in every aspect by a design-by-committee aesthetic (including the dreadful Muzak soundtrack). There is no creative vision here, nor is there a passable game.
The Verdict

One can feel the touch of the void on every aspect, the faint droning echo of sick, tuneless piping for an inscrutable and alien corporate master. The end product serves no one.


Technically competent if not impressive graphics deliver an uninspired cartoon style.


Generic sounds and elevator music add to the soul-sapping atmosphere.


The controls will make you regret buying the Vita.


Every minigame in this collection is unbelievably boring.