Published by: Sony Computer Entertainment of America
Released: 1999 (Japan)
Spartan. Minimalist. vib-ribbon’s vector graphics would seem more at home in an early ‘80s arcade than the polygon-pushing PlayStation. But therein lies the charm. Set on a line, you play as Vibri, an abstract female rabbit, navigating hurdles generated by the soundtrack. With four obstacle types, early levels are more about timing and learning the basics. Later levels combine obstacles adding pattern recognition to the mix, which really gets your synapses firing as you try to keep track of it all.
After you have mastered the game, you can play levels generated by your own music CDs—offering hypothetically infinite levels. In practice, most music CDs generate levels somewhere between very, very hard and outright impossible.
A textbook example of a short but sweet game, it’s shame vib-ribbon didn’t get a timely release in the US. It eventually came out—15 years later!—as a PS one Classic on PS3, PSP and Vita in 2014.