Time for this week's Xbox Live review, and I've spent the last seven days working through Gerbil Physics, a delightful little puzzle game that should appeal to fans of explosions and saving cute little animals. We've seen something similar before on Windows Phone, but how much difference does the addition of a friendly rodent or two make?
Recent Reviews - Games - Page 28
Sometimes you can find the greatest little games on the Marketplace that you just keep coming back to on your Windows Phone. Permutile 2 (that's Permutile Squared, not Permutile Two) is one of those titles, and over the last week it's gone from 'nice icon, let's download it', to 'must be pinned to my tiles'.
As I said when this shooter was released last week on Xbox Live, DoDonPachi was going to be perceived as a hard game. When you work on the level design of a vertical shooter, you need to decide if you are going to create something people can relax to, while playing through the graphics and challenges, or whether you go for something devilishly complicated with far too many ways to die filling the screen. DoDonPachi's style is the latter, and it's all the better for it.
The Toy Soldiers game on the Xbox 360 just got itself a companion application. Boot Camp will talk with the larger game, sharing high scores and data from the mini games that are in both the 360 and the Windows Phone version. It's cute, it works, but I don't think many people will be buying it.
Clash of the Planets does sound like a Japanese anime series with your usual heroic space-soldiers defending against the forces of darkness that are encroaching into a solar system far far away. The great news is that this is exactly what is delivered on Windows Phone from developers ImpressWork. The only disappointment is you're never going to see those anime characters.
By tradition, these games always have a super-long name, but with a Splinter Cell title on almost every platform, it was only a matter of time before Xbox Live would have the running, jumping and standing still genre. If you like your gaming like you like your summer blockbuster movies (repetitive, obvious, with lots of explosions, and directed by Jerry Bruckheimer) then you're going to be very happy with Splinter Cell Conviction. For everyone else, you might feel a bit of a passenger.
While it's nice to have a name that can fully describe a game, I think there's one bit missing from this title. More apt would be "Chickens can't fly - but they can fall with a huge amount of style." Developers Amused Sloth have a strong fanbase following the first title in this series, the independently released Chickens Can Dream. Now the sequel is an Xbox Live title, I think I'm about to upset a lot of people with our latest AAWP review.
Sometimes all you need to do to keep people coming back to your Windows Phone game is to implement all the basics really well, add in a touch of consistent design, and let the original concept of the game shine through. That's what Sour Green Plums has done with its puzzle game Blocked In.
Another week, another Xbox Live title, and another review. I'm really glad that Microsoft has picked up on the idea of regularity and "appointment apps". I'm less impressed with Bullet Asylum, a modern reworking of Missile Command. It looks wonderful, and I was itching to play it. The truth, unfortunately, is that one big problem gets in the way of making this a title I could recommend.
There's a certain delight in going far too fast, even in a simple smartphone game. Descent (no, not that one) brings you that 'past the red line' experience to Windows Phone, asking you to zoom through a never ending tunnel peppered with obstacles, fuel, and power-ups. Stripped down to the basics, this is an impressive little graphical tour de force for Windows Phone. And it's fun as well.