Last week saw my full review of Avion Flight Simulator 2015, which I was really impressed by, interstitial ads notwithstanding. Happily, for the follow-up simulator, Seven Summit Studios went down the commercial game route, with Rail Road Train Simulator 2016 costing just over £2 in the UK Store, but with the same idea of working your way through many steam engines and accomplishing various missions/tasks. It's not quite as awe inspiring as 'Avion', but as a steam fan anyway, there was still plenty here to find interesting.
Recent Reviews - Games
Yes, yes, it's true that the game's name includes '2015', but look past any worries over the title being 'old' because it's certainly not. Avion Flight Simulator 2015 is the most challenging flight sim game that I've played for ages on a phone. With a choice of three flight models and surprising variety in terrain and weather, the 'just one more challenge' gameplay is absolutely addictive.
Take a classic cross-platform 2013 WW1 flight simulation multi-player game and update it as a full Windows 10 UWP, for mobile, tablet and desktop, add in loads more planes, tanks, scenery and weapons, upgrade all the visuals and music, put it all together and you've got Dogfight Elite UWP. It's impressive in a number of ways if you have a fast enough phone with enough RAM, even if it does require a fair amount of real world cash to get really immersed within.
I know what's you're thinking. a) There's never a good time to review a sniper game, since there's always some nutter in the news, plus b) this is freemium-fantastic, so surely Steve is going to hate it. However... this is really, really well done. OK, so the lowest freemium IAP is probably the 'real' price of the game, but Sniper Ops 3D is slick, fast and fun.
'Hack and slash' may seem like something of a gory game genre, but when it's depicted in 2D silhouette fashion and with cartoonish 'stickmen' then somehow the extreme violence seems more palatable. Not quite freemium, not quite combat, not quite a platformer, League of Stickmen is certainly a bit different...
Can you imagine going back from CD to cassettes? Or colour TV to black and white? Or (struggling for a more modern analogy here) from 3G and LTE back to GPRS? It's much the same with pool and snooker games - there are some cracking first person 3D titles, not least my favourite International Snooker Pro, so why on earth would someone want a relatively coarse and fiddly 2D pool game in 2016? For the head to head action with players around the world, of course. And on the whole Pool Tour Masters doesn't disappoint in this aspect.
One of the surprise hits of the Windows Phone gaming world was, for me, Stickman Soccer, with amazingly fluid and fun gameplay, along with a simple freemium model and just a single IAP to get rid of ads. I loved this game and it's been on every Lumia since. And now we have the follow-up, built specifically for Windows 10 Mobile, laptops and, yes, Continuum, with extra modes and capabilities. It's ultimately best by far on the phone, of course, this is a touch-screen masterpiece.
Back in the mists of time there was Pool Arena Online for Windows Phone - but times (and OSes) change and we're now in a Windows 10 (Mobile) world. The developer has reimagined the game as a UWP (Universal Windows Program) for both phone and laptop (etc), plus it has been expanded massively to include darts and (for now) a board game too. It's early days (how many times have I said that about such a title?) for what is potentially a large multi-player gaming system, but I do have a fondness for its ambitions.
I seem to be hooked on tower defense games at the moment - or maybe there are just some excellent examples coming on stream. 'REDCON - Strike Commander' is something slightly off the wall, in that it doesn't look like a tower defense title - but it is at heart, it's just presented differently. And rather wonderfully - I've never seen such superlative animation and atmosphere in a mobile game. Ever. REDCON is also available for Windows 10 on the tablet/desktop, but here I was trying it out on a Lumia phone.
Tower defense is now a game genre in its own right - the combination of strategy, arcade action and combat has proved very popular. And Digfender is an astoundingly good example of the breed, here lovingly crafted for Windows Phone and Windows 10 Mobile by Mugshot Games. The graphics are just right, the gameplay honed to perfection and even the freemium stays well within reasonable bounds. Highly recommended.