Mushihimesama Bug Panic
- iPhone - Ł2.99
The latest in a long line of snappily titled shooters from bullet hell-hounds Cave takes a rather different direction than you might expect.
Opting for twin-stick frolics this time around, you must guide a mysterious girl named Reco around forests and deserts and bring 'peace' back to the insect kingdom. Being a Cave title, it's perhaps no surprise to find that her idea of conflict resolution involves bombing them all to back to hell. To be fair, I'd do exactly the same.
Although dispatching the insect army is an initially straightforward process, the promised Bug Panic of Mushihimesama duly arrives nine or ten levels in, with scores of buzzing foes determined to exact revenge for their fallen comrades. But with its surprisingly slick twin-stick implementation, you're well-equipped to deal precise blasts with a steered charged shot, while also dodging the curtain of enemy fire sent in your general direction.
Although very different from the Japanese veteran's usual ferocious output, Mushihimesama soon grows into the kind of exacting, gleefully sadistic experience you expect from this lot. Then again, if you've ever seen the kind of hellish insects the Japanese have to deal with, it's hardly surprising they want to wage war against their kind with explosives.
- Windows Phone 7 - Ł2.49
If by 'butterfly' they mean 'short-lived', then Press Start certainly sums up the brief-but-beautiful life of a fluttering Lepidoptera.
Tasked with bringing all the flowers to bloom, you must nimbly guide the fragile insect around the colourfully rendered environment in the quickest possible time, dodging the voracious predators that line up to pluck you from the air.
But underneath its seductive visuals and soothing premise lies a poorly optimised exercise in casual gaming. Levels demand a pixel-perfect precision that the choppy performance doesn't quite offer, and directing your hapless butterfly away from the jaws of hungry fauna, fish and frogs is never quite as smooth and instant as the gameplay requires.
Despite that, the game's forgiving nature ensures that you'll still rip through each of the 80 levels in a matter of seconds, and probably three-star eight of the ten environments on your first attempt.
You'll scoop a few cheap achievements for your Xbox Live profile, but that's probably the only reason you'll feel compelled to see this pleasant but ultimately vacuous diversion through to its conclusion.