Food Processing: Crazy Conveyor HD
If you're a fellow member of the Miserable Old Git club, you probably didn't see the appeal of Fruit Ninja either. But there's nothing like several million sales to ram an opinion back down your choking pipe, and to bring copycat offerings crawling out of the woodwork.
Embattle Games and Chillingo seem to like money very much indeed, so it's no great shock to see them get into the whole slicing 'n' dicing scene as well. Another frantic food-troubling affair might seem like a terrible idea, were it not for the fact that there's a bit more going on with this one.
Food Processing builds on the addictive formula by presenting you with various bits of fruit, vegetables and nuts as they march endlessly along a conveyor belt. Some require slicing into equal sections while others merely need the tops knocking off them.
Some items, though, are just plain rotten, and need to be left the hell alone. Accidentally slice a decaying sweetcorn or fail to slice up something into the required portions and you'll lose one of your precious lives. Three strikes and you're out, swiftly dispatched back to the menu to mull over your misdeeds.
Eventually you'll unlock the merciless Hell's Kitchen mode. Here you get told off for slicing inappropriate vegetable matter and have to deal with debilitating power ups when things go awry. Sadly Gordon Ramsay was too busy inventing new swear words to contribute.
With nothing to aim for other than a slightly higher score, Food Processing feels like one of those apps which burns brightly and briefly before you move on to something more involved. That's a guaranteed few million sales, then.
- iPhone/iPad (unified binary) - £1.19
Jeff Minter must wish he'd have made the leap to mobile gaming sooner. Three months into 2011 and we're already onto the second of Llamasoft's 'Minotaur Project' titles, where the hairy one knocks out a quickfire offering based on imaginary retro hardware.
This time around, the focus is on an Intellivision-inspired reworking of his 1991 ST/Amiga classic Llamatron 2112. The results are predictably intense.
Essentially this is an acid-fried tribute to twin-stick marvel Robotron 2084. The idea is to guide a grunty old Minotaur around a series of enemy-congested levels, blasting anything threatening, rescuing beasties and picking up odd-looking bonuses. (Our favourite is the Dark Side Of The Moon-inspired Floyd Bonus.)
Like anything from Yak, this is score-chasing fury designed to rough up the most hardened blaster - but this time we find the old master in a remarkably concessionary frame of mind.
Simplified mode, for example, takes away the need to aim entirely, leaving you with the sole task of moving your beast safely through the chaos. Assisted mode, meanwhile, gives you an indestructible helper droid to even the odds slightly - but regular service is resumed on Normal and Hard modes.
Handily, Minter has come up with a novel swipe-based aiming system, designed firmly with strafe tactics in mind. Rather than having to deal with precise movement and shoot at the same time, you can focus on getting out of the way of the onslaught and adjust your firing direction only when necessary.
With this more accommodating approach Minotron: 2112 is far more accessible than you might expect. For those of us of lacking superhuman twitch skills, that can only be a good thing.