Mobile Games Roundup • Page 2

Death! Jubeat! Frogs! Maddening! Spirits!

Death Worm

  • iPhone - 0.59

Whenever there's a snack gap, Twix fits. That's all very well if you're a bored call centre drone trying to quell the rising rumbles while it's pissing down with rain on a Wednesday, but try telling that to a gigantic slavering invertebrate with an appetite for a little more than chocolatey goodness.

In this case, passing pedestrians, low flying choppers, wandering camels and curious UFOs are more the kind of dish that Mr Death Worm has in mind, and it's your job to usher them into his gaping maw without getting shot, bombed and generally obliterated to death.


Worm in paradise.

Being something of a brute, you're blessed with the useful ability to tunnel in and out of the earth on a whim, and leap into the air like a salmon, plucking your unsuspecting prey en route to the level's kill target. The fast-paced carnage and slick, responsive controls make you realise why Playcreek's one-time indie smash has been so well regarded. It's instantly playable nonsense that grabs you the first time you play.

The question is whether you'll feel the burning need to come back for more once you've cleared a few levels. The simple upgrade system makes you bigger, more resilient and faster, but there's only so long its simple, twisting, turning formula can keep you amused before the urge to move on kicks in. Mercifully, the price is right, but don't expect much more than a quick fix.


Maddening HD

  • iPad - 0.59

Mad men.

There must have been something in the air (tonight) in the early eighties, but every other pop star wanted to run away. We had Running In The Night (Lionel Ritchie), Run Run Away (Slade), I Ran (A Flock Of Seagulls), Running Up That Hill (Kate Bush), and Run To The Hills (Iron Maiden). Throw in Jump by Van Halen and you have the perfect soundtrack to this brutally minimalist piece of platforming survival torment.

Sadly, I doubt YoYo Games could get the licensing clearance for a 59p iPhone game, so you'll have to do your best to warble your own renditions as you run away from the nasty red wall of death chasing after you.

Mounting the procession of obstacles that spiral forever towards you becomes an increasingly tricky prospect thanks to Maddening's one-hit-kill policy, coupled with the fact that you're expected to hop your way through each level with a single life.

At first, such fearsome expectations are part of its appeal until, half a dozen levels in, you literally hit a wall. Such unremitting violence against the player is fine when you've got the kind of instant command a game like this demands, but you're not quite so full of calm forgiveness when laggy touch-screen controls hinder your progress.

What starts out with such promise eventually becomes an exercise in tolerance. With some semblance of balance, this could evolve into a stylish platforming diversion, but right now all you're left with is high blood pressure.


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