Now that many of you have another four Xbox Live titles to enjoy over the weekend, you might want to check out the reviews we have done of the titles.
This is not quite a '90% score' game, trivia is still a niche genre and not to everyone's tastes, but I'm struggling to find a flaw with the actual game. A turn by turn multiplayer through the Xbox Live arena might be a nice option, but it would only be a cherry on top of a damn fine game. Damn fine game... let's go with that.
Waxing lyrical over the gameplay and level design might be seen as over the top if this was a brand new title, but Parking Mania's lateness to Windows Phone at least has the huge advantage that it's now incredibly mature. All rough edges have been knocked off, all level glitches fixed, the gameplay perfectly pitched for longevity, and so on. At every turn (see what I did there?) arrows on the road give hints as to where to go next, challenges are clearly flashed onto the screen and there's (thankfully) some leeway in how accurately you have to arrive in the destination parking space.
To move your mouse you simply draw a path with your finger from the mouse to where you want it to go. If you're up to the challenge, you can thread this through the house, over the cheese, the pick-ups, and to the master mouse hole in one swish of your finger. Other levels will demand you draw a line to a mid-point to wait for the right moment to move, or to head into a smaller mouse hole to wait and emerge somewhere else when the time is right.
...I love that Spy Mouse forces you to vary the tactics you use. Sometimes stealth and hiding just out of sight are the order of the day, where other levels demand you run as fast and as direct a route as you can right under the whiskers of the opposition. Exhilarating stuff.
The interesting question for me is: who this title is aimed at? This isn't for the hardcore gamer, it just doesn't have enough choices that allow skill to make a huge amount of difference, and it takes a bit too long to play through. Neither is it for the casual gamer, because it's not really something you can dip in and out of.
Surely this is for the kids? This is the sort of title you can start running and sling onto the back seat of the car during a long drive for a bit of peace and quiet. It has the pass-around multiplayer option so everyone can play, they can add in a computer AI if they want, and they are quite happy with a game built on a little risk and a fair amount of luck.
Out of those four, I'd probably highlight Spy Mouse as the first title to look at - it's a great twist on the line-drawing genre with a strong plot and graphical look, but there are free trials available for all four titles, so you can download them and find out for yourself.