Released just as 2011 came to a close, Spider Jack brought some great physics to the world of Xbox Live gaming, along with a maddening, challenging, addictive little game that's kept me going as 2012 dawned. Even if it is a bit like Cut the Rope (and there's a reason for that), Spider Jack is a fine mix of the collecting and puzzling genres.
Recent Reviews - Games - Page 30
Taking to the skies, with incredibly slim odds of success, can you battle through waves and waves of enemy aircraft over your island, unlock more powerful aircraft to defend your home, and take out the occasional flying saucer while you're at it? That's what MiniSquadron asks you to do in the latest Xbox Live title to be reviewed at AAWP.
I'm a big fan of car racing games. In fact, I'll be more specific - I'm a big fan of car racing simulations - anything with power ups, cartoon characters, missiles or trucks coming the other way, turns me off completely. I want realism, I want petrol fumes, I want adrenaline, I want to feel like I'm pulling 5G going round a fast corner. Which is a tall order on an electronic device - though Real Racing seems to have got most of the way there on iOS. The closest thing Windows Phone has so far is the Red Bull promotional F1 simulation here - does it compare, is it any fun, is it realistic, is it value for money? Let's find out.
What happens if you squish a Rubik's style sliding puzzle into a hexagon based grid, throw on various potential moves into the individual tiles in the grid, and ask players to slide the tiles around to get coloured hexagons to target squares? Apart from a huge headache, you get HexArray!
Microsoft rolls out another free Xbox Live title, and asks you to blow a little flower around for 50 gamer points. It's not going to revolutionise gaming, but it is free. The question is this, is Breeze a worthy addition to the main Windows Phone gaming brand? I'm not so sure.
When you have such a strong game as "Doodle Jump" that's recognised on the streets, to have another Xbox game called "Doodle God" risks association in the mind of the users. It's a strange call to make when naming a game, even though there is no exclusivity implied in the word. Doodle God has no jumping, no platform action, and only the very vaguest hints of a time limit. It's very much a cerebral puzzle game that you play over a long time, and it has a huge amount of goodwill online. I just can't see why.
I have to admire the imagination of some developers when they come up with their plot lines. Take Krashlander, a fascinating physics-based puzzle game where you are asked to... ski down a mountain and crash into some evil, yet horrifically immobile, robots. Love it. Plot aside, does Krashlander make as good a game as it would a script for Doctor Who?
There has always been a place for games with very basic controls, especially in the mobile gaming space. The "one button" game is almost a genre in itself, where you have a character running from something, and have to time the press of that button to get out the way of the obstacles in time. Tsotsi is definitely in that genre, but it doubles the complexity on offer to the user. It has two buttons!
Sometimes it's the average games that you love, even though on a clinical review of a game you might pass it over. Hasta La Muerte is one of those games. And while I'm not quite at the "love" stage, for me this death-tinged game has an appeal to me that is perhaps more than you would expect given its nature.
Another Xbox Live title, but Shuffle Party is a bit special - it's free. That means only 50 gamer points, and not the expected 200 points, but there's enough sliding puck action here to make it worthwhile. But can a free Xbox Live title be as good as a full priced one? You'll probably download it because of the free tag, but will you be playing it after a week?