A couple of weeks on from launch, you're probably wondering why we haven't got around to including Windows Phone 7 games yet. We wondered that too, but it seems the powers that be aren't exactly falling over themselves to provide us with review samples.
But like The Terminator, we absolutely will not be stopped, so decided to go down the old school route and, you know, actually buy a handset anyway. More than 20 apps have been released so far, but most are games that you'll be very familiar with, so we'll focus on the more exciting ones like The Harvest.
With Microsoft promising the likes of Halo Waypoint and Crackdown 2 in the near future, and a whole stack of other titles on the way, the Android and iPhone looks like it will have plenty of competition in the near future...
- iPhone - £2.99/ iPad £3.99
One day, the world will wake up to the genius of the Dreamcast. SEGA will start making consoles again, Shenmue III will be released, world poverty will end, and we'll all live happily ever after. Until such an eventuality, this completely unexpected port of Sonic Team's 10 year-old puzzle classic will do just fine.
For those of you who missed out the first time around, the idea was to guide a procession of fragile little mice to a rocket by placing the designated arrows on a grid. If you got it right, you'd avoid the evil patrolling cats, and bask in the curiously warm glow of successful traffic direction. Must be the Ready Brek.
Brilliantly suited to touch-screen play, ChuChu Rocket's arrival on iOS devices makes perfect sense, with arrow placement simply a case of swiping in the required direction. Armed with such an intuitive system, it makes the frantic challenge levels and the multiplayer mode an even more desirable prospect.
Problematically, Binary Hammer seems determined to make four-player iPad play as confusing to set-up as possible, but once you figure out which icon you need to press to get going, it's an excellent addition. Bluetooth and Wi-fi multiplayer also makes the cut, but there's no online play yet - bizarre, considering this was the first-ever online console game.
Sadly, that's not the end of the sadness, with poorly upscaled visuals and a price wholly out-of-step with what you'd expect. With a few tweaks and revisions, and a price cut, ChuChu Rocket! would be essential, but right now this is one for fanboys desperate to relive the good old days.
- Android/ £0.99
For whatever reason, notable Android exclusives have been something of a scarce commodity since we bit the bullet and bought a handset, but Hyperbee's latest release wholly justifies the groundswell of excitement for the format.
Set in the fast-moving confines of a three dimensional tunnel, survival is the name of the game, and to clock up a respectable score you have to simply avoid any obstacle that comes hurtling towards you.
With only one life at your disposal, you'll live on your nerves as one attempt swiftly follows another. Smacking headlong into a vertical or horizontal block only strengthens your resolve to do better next time, and, sure enough, something clicks and you'll start to weave skilfully in and out of the clutter, tilting the device left and right with dead-eyed precision.
Handy collectibles effectively bolster your life count, and afford you the rare luxury of being able to crash into objects unscathed, while others allow you to slow down time temporarily, or clear obstacles from your path. But just when you're getting a handle on matters, the game ups the ante by morphing the track into a flat plane, or flipping it inside out so that you're left racing around a tube, rather than skirting around the inside of one.
Driven on by trance-inducing electronica, beautiful, super-smooth visuals, and intensely addictive gameplay Speed X is a mesmerising game. For the price, there's no excuse.
- iPhone/ £0.59 (Express version free)
Screenshots really can be the kiss of death sometimes, and the ones accompanying Trainyard make Matt Rix's absorbing link 'n' launch puzzler look about as enticing as being crushed up against a commuter's armpit in rush hour.
It's just as well, then, that the freebie Express version gives you a risk-free chance to see exactly why the paid version is faring so well in the App Store charts at present.
Deceptively simple, the task at hand is to ensure that each train reaches its destination safely without crashing. By tracing the track route with your finger, you can easily map out a route, and then see if your best laid plans work out.
Sure enough, the addition of further trains opens up the gameplay enormously, and requires you to figure out how best to overlap the track, or even merge tracks in such a way that the incoming trains don't crash en-route. And once colour mixing comes into play, the puzzles become furiously engaging.
Now available at a third of its original price, Trainyard is yet another exceptional puzzle app to add to your growing pile. Absorbing, challenging and unlike anything else out there, buy it and soothe away the stresses of public transport.
Shadow Runner HD
- iPad/ £1.19, iPhone £0.59
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, £1.79 (previously released on PSP Minis £3.99)
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.