Mobile Games Roundup

Silverfish! Spin! Corpses! Hearts! Squibbles!

Version tested

The Futureheads would have you believe that Christmas was better in the eighties. Not if you were into videogames, it wasn't.

Most of those glorious 1980s were spent listening to the terrifying, otherworldly screeching of a ZX Spectrum performing its interminable loading routine. You'd sit there patiently, hoping against hope that the dreaded "R Tape Loading Error" wouldn't appear or that your brother hadn't hidden your Lenslok down the back of the sofa as retribution for stealing the last purple Quality Street.

Nowadays, we get the likes of Epic's Infinity Blade (reviewed tomorrow) just casually tossed into our laps for half the price of what games routinely cost a quarter of a century ago. Or, better still, completely cracked goodness like Corpse Craft and Silverfish for less than the price of a posh packet of crisps.

In summary, my dear Futureheads, you can keep your 1980s. You've never had it so good.

Silverfish

  • iPhone - 1.19
1

Insect genocide.

Don't let the indignity of having to control the vilest of slithery house-wreckers put you off. This latest twist to Geometry Wars 2's Pacifism mode brings more than enough score-chasing fun to make you forget about dealing with that lurking infestation under your sink.

Developer Chaotic Box has three variants on the theme for you to chew on; Reaper tasks you with leading your foes a merry dance around the environment, and then repeatedly smacking into bombs to smash them into little green chunks of death.

As you collect these green proton shards, your POW meter slowly tops up, and once it's full you're able to turn the tables for a brief period, Pac-Man style. Smack into any of your enemies, however, and you'll lose a smidgen of POW. Once you run out, it's game over.

Scavenger mode, meanwhile, makes it a tad harder to earn POW points because your enemies ignore you and just swish about the screen in orderly rows. Not so in Onslaught mode. Enemies chase you relentlessly like they do in the Reaper mode, but this time you have to rely on good old-fashioned lives, rather than your POW bar. Three hits and you're out, so it pays to have a full command of the game's exacting movement system.

The swipe-based controls are where many are divided on Slilverfish's otherwise undoubted merits. On an iPhone or iPod touch you're always obscuring a portion of the screen whenever you move, and can find yourself swiping headlong into trouble at a moment's notice. And while it fares much better on the iPad, the need to switch into 2x mode means you're also likely to, at some point, accidentally switch it back mid-game. Fury.

When Chaotic Box produces a unified binary for iPad users, this will be an essential app, but right now it feels like an excellent game held back by some minor design quirks.

8/10

Silverfish has us hooked.

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