Trash Panic - Box ArtPublisher(s): Sony Computer Entertainment
Platform(s): PlayStation 3
Release date(s): June 4, 2009
Genre(s): Puzzle
Mode(s): Single player, Two player

A stream of garbage is carried via conveyor belt toward a garbage can in the middle of the screen, and the object of the game is to break down the garbage by strategically placing it into the can based on the items available before the can fills to overflowing. If three pieces of undamaged garbage fall out of the trash can, the game will end. Players may process garbage by setting fire to burnable items, some garbage will decompose when placed near the correct substances, and lighter or fragile objects (a television, for example) may be smashed by heavier ones (a bowling ball). The stream of garbage will continue to drop into the trash can until either the player successfully compacts a certain quantity of items or the trash can is filled to overflowing.

Items of garbage in the game start off small, with things like pencils, pens, staplers, erasers, and other office trash. As the trash items gradually become larger (eventually becoming space stations, comets, meteors, and the like), the trash can becomes larger to compensate, eventually coming to sit on top of Planet Earth itself. In addition to normal trash items, at the end of every level is a larger ‘boss’ item that must be compacted, and every so often a special piece of trash will fall that must not be compacted (items which are assumed to have been thrown out by mistake, jewelry for example). If the special trash is destroyed by accident, the player’s Ego score will be penalized, and ‘penalty trash’ consisting of yellow balls will be released into the trash can to fill space more quickly.

The scoring system is divided into two categories depending on how the player chooses to dispose of or compact their garbage to progress through the stage: Eco (Ecological) versus Ego (Egotistical). If the player groups together biodegradable items so that they decompose naturally and smashes much of their garbage into smaller, more compact pieces, their Eco rating will rise. Should the player choose to burn much of their garbage, however, their Ego rating will rise instead. The player’s score does not directly affect game progress—so long as the trash is compacted sufficiently, the game will continue regardless of Ego or Eco rating—but higher overall Eco ratings will help to unlock extra levels and modes.

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