- Xbox Live Indie Games - 80 Microsoft Points
Hedge Wizard scoops a double award this week: firstly for having comfortably the best title, and secondly for being developed by a studio called Zombie Bonsai. Just as well the game lives up to this lofty promise.
The idea of this little puzzle nugget is to gather gold for a lazy wizard, while also trying to prevent the village from being flooded, burned down, eaten by zombies, or other impending disasters.
Preventing the imminent death of the local populace involves cunning and a smattering of magic, and the wizard helps you on your way by dispensing collectible spells around the environment.
A fire, for example, will need to be blown off course before it fries the village, while course-correcting a raging flood may gain you access to helpful spells or save people from dying - or both. With time always against you, it becomes increasingly important to activate the spells at just the right moment - and in the right order - to avert danger.
Fortunately, you can also manipulate time and can either rewind a few steps to try something a different way, or crank things up to get the job done quicker.
But while the rubbish visuals give it a throwaway appearance, Hedge Wizard's frantic multi-tasking formula quickly casts its insidious spell over you.
Hamilton's Great Adventure
- PC (Steam) - Ł7.19
It could have been so different for Indiana Jones. He could have befriended a helpful parrot and spent his time solving fiendish co-operative puzzles, and thus avoided fridge-nuking ignominy.
He could also have dodged the army of CGI monkeys by visiting far-flung temples in an understated manner like Hamilton. He could have quietly gone in search of keys, treasure and miscellaneous doodads, traipsed over collapsible platforms, and asked the faithful Sasha to just fly over to that switch and whack it with her curiously dextrous beak.
Indy would have enjoyed Fatshark's cheerful and adept brand of puzzling, with its 'family-friendly' learning curve yet progressively fiendish level design, and hummable tunes.
With 60 wry and crafty levels awaiting, his quizzical eyebrow would have been working overtime. Instead, we're happy to settle for the grunting anonymity of Hamilton and invent a few one-liners of our own to fill in the blanks.
You might not give Hamilton's Great Adventure a second glance as you thumb the Steam racks, but do not be fooled by its generic, casual exterior. It's always the quiet ones you have to watch.