Summary Travel through different worlds on your hoverdek in order to save your friends from the evil Krakken.
Description Type: Platformer
Platform: PlayStation One
Players: Single Player
Age: 3 plus
Game Time: 10 hours
Developer or Designer: Psygnosis
Challenging shooting gallery
Choose which character to play as
Back in the nineties, 'X-treme' sports video games such as biking, skateboarding, etc., were all about scoring points by performing tricks. Designer, Graham Sidwell and programmer Steven Balmer wanted to do something different, and so created Psybadek. The concept was to create a game that was about more than just doing tricks, but to have an actual plot and for those tricks serve a purpose.
They invented a futuristic sport called deking, which is basically skate boarding, but using a hover board. Players would be able to roam freely through different landscapes, completing various objectives.
After playing Psybadek, I can't help but feel that they tried so hard to focus on the 'big picture' and overall concept, that they missed out on the detail. One example is the the graphics, which are quite poor even for 1998.
The plot is also very weak, and does not make much sense: these kids are playing in a skate park when suddenly a horrible creature called the 'Krakken' warps into their world and kidnaps them. Two manage to escape and have to travel through different worlds on their hoverdeks to rescue their friends.
Why did the Krakken invade our world? According to the manual, it is because our world 'is so much funkier than his. And he's got a bad smell. Like stinky cheese.' The language of the game is very dated and can definitely be recognised as 90s skater park speak, with words such as 'rad', 'yowza'. It is a bit annoying and patronising, but can easily be ignored by not looking at the manual.
The gameplay itself is actually pretty good. There are a number of different stunts to learn that are tricky to master, and the levels are challenging. If you get stuck, however, there is no need to worry. Rather than having a linear set of levels that you have to progress through, you can choose which order you play in.
There are two types of levels. The first is an obstacle course, in which your score is based on how many stars you collect and the time taken to complete it.
The second is a shooting gallery, in which you have to shoot a certain number of targets within a time limit. This is surprisingly difficult to do, and keeps you coming back for more.
Psybadek is a mix of genres - x-treme sport, platformed, arcade - which does result in all three styles being somewhat mediocre. It does, however, provide fun gameplay.