Shadow Runner HD
- iPad/ Ł1.19, iPhone Ł0.59
As someone who spent a good chunk of the weekend hauling a vast games magazine collection up and down stairs, I can certainly relate to the concept that "the most powerful enemy is your past". Someone needs to tell that enemy to eBay the whole bloody lot.
In Shadow Runner, you're on the run from yourself, emerging from a black door, and waiting for a white door to open up elsewhere in the level. The problem is, your doppelganger soon gives chase, shadowing your every move, forcing you to keep on moving to avoid bumping into yourself.
Unfortunately it's much harder than it looks, especially once you factor in the numerous other shadows that join in the fun. Bounding around the place like a startled kangaroo, you'll desperately jump over yourself, only to snag the next guy hurtling towards you and be forced to start over.
Played out at a furious pace, the game only really starts to unravel when it relies heavily on the rather flaky wall jump mechanic. You'll know exactly what you want to do, but wind up fighting with a control system ill-suited to such instant precision.
With tactile controls, Shadow Runner would be an excellent, original platform puzzler, but it doesn't quite come off on touch-screen devices. Nice try, though.
Age of Zombies
- iPhone/iPad, Ł1.79 (previously released on PSP Minis Ł3.99)
On the back of two million sales of Fruit Ninja, handheld starlets Halfbrick must have dollars pouring out of every orifice by now. Now onto its fourth iOS release in less than a year, the Aussie studio has turned to one of its old PSP Minis - a regulation top-down shooter where you have to fend off the attentions of an amorous procession of undead.
For a penny shy of four quid, it wasn't really worth bothering with, mainly because it was a twin-stick style shooter on a console famously crippled in that department. On iOS devices it's an entirely different beast, though, thanks to a vastly superior control system that makes it an order of magnitude easier to quickly change your aim while you're on the move.
As a result, blitzing your way through the various stages is a far more enticing prospect, and - dare I say it - reasonably enjoyable if you like the idea of zombie slaying through the ages.
Although decent fun in short bursts, Age Of Zombies is a little too relentlessly repetitive to enjoy over the longer term, and this general lack of variety makes the inflated price seem a tad questionable. Maybe one to pick up once Halfbrick brings the price in line with the rest of its offerings.