Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror – Remastered
- iPhone/iPad (unified binary) - Ł3.99
- Mac and PC versions 'coming soon'
It's a shameful admission, but The Smoking Mirror was one of those games that I never got around to playing, despite owning the bloody thing. I even finished Broken Swords 3 and 4, but, for reasons unknown, this 1997 sequel remained forgotten in the towering 'to-play' pile for more than a decade.
13 years on, the welcome arrival of this lovingly 'remastered' edition means that there's no longer an excuse to ignore Charles Cecil's acclaimed adventure. The biggest surprise is that it has barely aged a day – unlike most of the games of that era. While many developers played around with chunky 3D engines, Revolution wisely opted for a lavish cartoon visual style, and therefore the transition to iOS devices is seamless.
As last year's Broken Sword 1 port amply demonstrated, the game's intuitive interface works perfectly on touch screen systems. Prodding your way through George Stobbart's globe-trotting adventure is made all the more pleasurable by virtue of the various refinements added, such as the built-in hint system, and being able to see what objects there are to interact with.
But unlike the original Broken Sword iOS ports, the voiceover audio is much better quality and the unified binary means you now only have to buy one version. Not only that, Dropbox integration means you can even use your save game on another device if you need to.
The game itself continues to justify its enduring popularity, thanks to sharp writing, narrative intrigue, quality voiceovers and concise puzzles that challenge but rarely frustrate. Maybe if enough of you buy this one, we can persuade Cecil and co. to finally deliver us an all-new game.
Burn The Rope
- iPhone - Ł0.59 (currently 50% off)
It always bloody happens. As soon as a game gets huge, you can guarantee a slew of similar-sounding copycat releases emerging from the sausage machine, hoping to get a piece of the action. But hold your ire; this isn't a cynical Cut The Rope cash-in, but something unexpectedly original.
As the title helpfully explains, the idea is to simply burn as much of the rope in each level as possible. Proceedings commence as soon as you touch any portion of the rope, and once ignited, you have to nimbly guide the flame around its attractively arranged perimeter by tilting the device in the appropriate direction: like a real flame, it will only burn upwards.
After a gentle introduction, Big Blue Bubble's puzzler starts to turn up the heat – not only by introducing more complicated arrangements but by throwing up colour-coded areas that can only be burned if you've, er, torched an ant or a spider first.
This being one of those ludicrously cheap games, the developers want millions of people to buy it so that they can afford to buy proper, manly curry sauce, rather than that 9p stuff Sainsbury's sells. And with 16 new levels about to be added to the 96 already bundled with Burn The Rope, get it while it's hot.