- Xbox Live Arcade Indie / £0.64
For the price of a sip of an overpriced mochachocafrappelatte, who could deny VEXIS its day in the sun? Not I, that's for sure.
Based around the simple premise of moving a white block into a black block, Buckshot Games' puzzler is one of those deceptive little buggers that robs far more of your time than it has any right to.
Using the left and right triggers, you can rotate the 14x14 grid in 90 degree increments, and let gravity work its magic on the white block. By rotating it in the right order, you'll gradually be able to shift it to its goal and move onto the next level.
But such is the way of these things, you wind up having to time your rotations with increasing precision as you dance your way through a succession of vanishing blocks. What starts off as a mild diversion quickly becomes an all-consuming obsession, and then you expire from not having eaten for days. Games, eh?
- DSiWare / 500 DSiWare Points (£4.50)
Dedicated Wii download junkies will recall that Trailblaze (known as Flametail elsewhere, oddly) started life as one of the three minigames present within Mindware's MaBoShi: The Three Shape Arcade. But don't hold that against it.
Unshackled, renamed and spruced up for handheld consumption, this pleasingly abstract puzzle title tasks you with piloting a fiery spaceship through space debris. But rather than merely avoid it, the idea is to burn all of it up before the approaching hazard line touches any of it.
Doing so is way, way trickier than it looks (so much so, in fact, that I had to play the tutorial level about four times before I stopped completely sucking at it), because it's all about plotting your route with foresight and caution. Merely aligning yourself alongside a line of blocks is enough to get the fire started, but if you take too long to manoeuvre yourself over to it, you might find certain blocks don't burn themselves out quickly enough. Collecting letters en route earns you power-ups, allowing you to, for example, fire a missile to blast through entire sections of the level, or a radar to give you advance warning of the route ahead.
But as unique and fun as Trailblaze is, progress is rendered painstakingly slow by the game's bewildering requirement to make you start from scratch. If you've got the stomach for repetition, this is well worth a look, but otherwise approach with caution.