Guns 'n' Glory
- Android / £2.61,
- iPhone, iPad / £1.79 (Lite versions free)
New Tower Defence games are as inevitable as mouthy idiots on The Apprentice, but that doesn't stop the stupid things from being a guilty pleasure.
Case in point: HandyGames' Guns 'n' Glory, which takes a Wild West theme, and tasks you with ambushing oncoming settlers. Perched high above the canyon walls, you can position cowboys, bandits, gringos, indians and cannons and show these foolish newcomers the error of their ways.
Unlike most of the tired, clichéd Tower Defence games that we run through every other week, Guns 'n' Glory gives you the option of moving your units around on the fly, and that instantly gives the game a very different strategic flavour. As you kill, you earn money, and you can choose to pay any of the available sleepy units to wake up and join the fight.
But with this new-found strategic flexibility comes new challenges, so you'll find yourself adapting mid-mission as enemies start pouring out elsewhere on the map. It's quite often a hugely challenging plate-spinning exercise trying to keep an eye on various areas of the map at once and working out who's needed where. Although it's a bit of a pain to have to drag each individual unit to its position, this slight handicap actually adds to the frantic drama.
If you're not thoroughly sick of the sight of Tower Defence games, then Guns 'n' Glory will come as a pleasant surprise, and its presence on the Android, in particular, is very welcome indeed.
- iPhone, iPad / £0.59
Gaijin Games' excellent run of ultra-retro Bit.Trip titles have epitomised the unfettered creativity of the WiiWare scene over the past 18 months. While these quirky rhythm action experiments don't always hit the mark in terms of playability, they offer a sensory experience quite unlike anything else around.
Originally released over here in May last year for the equivalent of £4.20, you can now pick up the first in the Bit.Trip series for just 59p, with specific versions tailored for both iPhone and iPad.
This unparalleled generosity from Namco Mobile makes Bit.Trip Beat much more alluring than it otherwise would be - mainly because it's as hard as nails, and not especially suited to touch (or tilt)-based play. As you might recall from the WiiWare original, the idea is to guide a Pong-style bat up and down the screen, and attempt to hit blocks back in time to the music.
But while you might expect that an iOS device would add a welcome degree of precision to the controls, it never works out that way. During hectic moments, the friction of the screen tends to work against you, while the tilt controls are simply too sensitive to be usable.
If you can overcome these issues, then a great game awaits; and with the benefit of multiplayer and exclusive levels, this is an essential purchase at its current price.