- DSiWare / 200 DSiWare Points (Ł1.80)
Nintendo has a curiously low-key attitude to its first-party DSiWare releases, so let us enlighten you about one of the most admirable to hit the under-appreciated service.
Having crashed down from the heavens, you must guide your fallen star back up to the sky, using, er, its grapple arm. Obviously. Presumably having wiped out every living entity on Planet Earth, it has something of a guilty conscience to salve.
With various points to latch onto in the sky, you launch yourself skywards and grab on, before working your way to an inevitable goal as quickly as possible. Playing out like a kind of disembodied Donkey Kong: King Of Swing, the idea is to fire yourself around, avoid nasty electrical storms, flick switches and pick up point bonuses.
Presented with all the audio-visual charm you'd expect from Nintendo, there's much to admire, but with only 10 levels to barrel through in Score Attack mode, it's not a game destined to last long in the memory. Still, for only 200 points, you get a good few hours of beautiful entertainment, and an Endless mode to pick through once you're done. More of this kind of thing, and Nintendo's best kept secrets won't stay that way for long.
- PSN Minis (PSP & PS3) / Ł1.99
These are dismal times for the Minis scene. Launched a year ago as Sony's answer to the indie freedom of the App Store, it seems like the well of quality titles has run dry already as developers gear up for PSP 2. Case in point: Apache Overkill.
Although by no means the worst offender of late (take a bow, the amazingly terrible Panda Craze), Playerthree's frantic side-scrolling shooter is devoid of any interest value whatsoever as you blast your merry way through an endless barrage of military hardware.
With your thumb clamped on the X button, you'll wearily cut a swathe through predictable formations, hoovering up collectibles and barely breaking sweat as you make mincemeat of almost everything in your path. You might have your progress temporarily held up by lumbering bosses, but such instances are a small bump in the road to inevitable progress.
Level upon level of near-identical forays follow (99 in total), but the endless repetition soon starts to grate. At just Ł1.99, Apache Overkill might be one of the cheaper Minis to date, but that hardly absolves it. Someone kindly turn the lights off on the way out.