Mobile Games Roundup

Max! Bob! Frogs! Monkeys! Other monkeys!

Version tested

Please charge your glasses for the arrival of Xperia Play. It might not be the most awesomely powerful smartphone ever seen, but it has the one thing I've been hankering after ever since I started covering the sector back in 2008: buttons.

Although our unit arrived too late in the preparations for this week's roundup to make a full assessment, even a cursory playthrough of the pre-installed games suggests that it could quickly become many people's platform of choice.

Games that were always a bit of a slog on touch-screen-only systems instantly benefit from tactile controls. Even rather mediocre titles that we wrote off months ago benefit enormously, and once developers start to optimise new titles for the system, I can see an intriguing battle emerging.

The only significant downside is the price. At around 480, there's no doubt that it's going to be out of reach of all but the most gadget-obsessed or those coming to the end of their contracts. In the meantime, you can be sure that we'll be keeping an eye on it.

Frog Minute

  • iPhone/iPad - 0.59 (universal binary)

You never quite know what you're going to get with Grasshopper Manufacture, but it's usually strange enough to make you check whether someone's slipped something in your drink.

So it probably won't come as a monumental shock to find that its iOS debut involves catching live prey and feeding it to frogs.

In what amounts to a live-action hidden object game, you can spend as long as you like just tapping away in the undergrowth, picking up dragonflies, butterflies, flies, snails and, of course, grasshoppers.

1

Mmm...Grasshopper Manufacture.

When you spot something rustling in nature's underbelly, you can tap that too, and then quickly satisfy its desire to chow down on something wriggly and crunchy.

How long you keep going is probably more down to your OCD tendencies than anything, but with dozens of frog species and even more achievements to shoot for, it will most likely be longer than you should.

[Just ask Child of Eden and Rez creator Tetsuya Mizuguchi he couldn't put it down when Keza sat down to lunch and an interview with him for Eurogamer last week. -Ed.]

So, no, it's nothing like you expected from the makers of Michigan and Killer 7, but maybe that was the whole point.

6/10

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