- Xbox Live Indie Games / 80 Microsoft Points (Ł0.64)
Already established as one of the most prolific indie scenesters via the eye-catching Crossfire and JoyJoy, radiangames returns with its third game in as many months - and it's the best yet.
This time, the inspiration comes from mid-eighties dungeon-crawling classic Gauntlet, where you're always on the hunt for keys to an exit via enemy generators and an army of willing cannon fodder.
With slick twin-stick controls and spongy, organic visuals drawing you in, Inferno serves up retro-modernism of genuine class. Whether you play solo or with up to four accomplices, 30 heavily defended challenges await, with basic permanent upgrades available as a reward for progress. It won't take all that long to get through, but part of its charm is that it doesn't outstay its welcome.
The wrinklier among us will have enjoyed more wholesome versions of Inferno years ago, of course, but revisiting it with an abstract makeover is welcome - especially when all you're being asked for for the privilege is your loose change.
Ultimate Spider-Man: Total Mayhem
- iPhone / Ł3.99
Designing traditional third-person action games around touch-screen controls is always a risky business, and here's another prime example of why. With its virtual thumb-stick and buttons, everything in Ultiamte Spider-Man: Total Mayhem feels like an unsatisfying compromise.
But this is a direction that Gameloft seems determined to persist with, fitting square pegs into round holes and leaving you with a game that might actually be enjoyable if you could only control the damned thing properly.
For the most part, Total Mayhem gets away with it, with forgiving enemies providing suitable fodder for you to mash through. And you can haul yourself around the environment without any trouble with the half-decent web-slinging jump.
Where things tend to get irritating are in the boss encounters, such as the game's hateful second boss, Rhino. Although it's fairly obvious that you're supposed to get him to charge into a wall, the imprecise nature of the controls leave you battered, bruised and back to the checkpoint with depressing regularity.
As crisp and vibrant as the game looks, there's little to elevate this above far cheaper and more interesting games designed around the controls - rather than shoehorned into them.