Mobile Games Roundup • Page 3

PES! Galaxy! Nebula! Pac! Pop!

Pac-Man Championship Edition

  • Android - 3.12 (free demo available)
  • Also available on iPhone - 2.99

Pac-Man is - and always will be - an unforgiving sod. He doesn't suffer fools gladly, and will happily wipe the smile of the faces of anyone foolish enough to engage in dot-gobbling nostalgia.

And yet, bland nostalgia is the only function that a mobile version of the 2007 XBLA classic can possibly serve.

Sure, it's an accomplished conversion to look at, but its technical proficiency is undone the second you try and play a half-way decent game on a touchscreen.


Hard to swallow.

Namco tries its best to work around the issue by offering a whole suite of control options, from virtual dpad, to analogue stick, to various swipe and pointer solutions, but none even get close to offering the instant four-way precision that you need.

With that out of the window, all you're left with is a pointless tech demo of one of the most joyous retro reimaginings of the past decade. You might be able to fumble your way through some of the less demanding portions of the game, but as soon as the pace hots up and you need to be able to make fine adjustments at speed, it's over.

All the extra levels and challenges in the world can't make up for the fact that touchscreen Pac-Man CE is more of an exercise in anger management than anything else.


Liqua Pop

With its delightful liquid physics, Liqua Pop could be the most salubrious casual distraction since Osmos.


One pop...

As the squishy droplets appear, it's up to you to quickly drag and drop like-coloured droplets onto others; team up four or more of the same colour and you can shake the device to pop them, and help Toadie the frog climb the stem of the leaf.

On the iPhone it's classic thumb-only gameplay, and a brilliant demonstration of a simple idea married to a simple twist on colour-matching gameplay.

Eventually the levels apply the thumbscrews a little, with a progressively greater variety of coloured droplets, as well as various bugs to free inside certain droplets. But if you allow the screen to fill up, it's game over - albeit with the chance to replay the last level, rather than a weary trudge to the start.

The only problem is the general lack of variety. After a few sessions of pleasant popping nonsense you'll probably wish there was a little more to it. But for those of a more casual leaning, this is a perfectly charming use of 59 pence.


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