To-fu: The Trials Of Chi
- iPhone - £0.59.
Once, he was a humble block of coagulated soy milk; now he's the world's most malleable martial artist.
If this was another sorry attempt to get our attention, it worked, but no matter, because Croydon's own HotGen has made its iOS debut with a game of rare, elastic loveliness.
Equipped with hard-man bandana, you stretch, ping, stick and rebound Mr To-Fu around hazardous two-dimensional environments (aren't they always?) in search of glowing blue orbs of inscrutable function.
In practice, it's a sticky platform-puzzler, tenuously reminiscent of System 3's ancient Amiga classic, Putty. The big difference with To-Fu is your inability to walk around. You can stretch yourself in any direction, but all you're really doing is setting yourself up to be launched onto another surface.
You have to avoid spiky areas, head for moving platforms, bounce yourself around and eventually try to reach the fortune cookie in as few moves as possible. The loot is optional, but you'll be shunned by your peers if you don't bother.
At approximately half a penny per level, you wonder how HotGen is planning to make money out of To-Fu. Presumably the plan is to make it so entertaining that we all tell our friends to buy it, and millions of pounds roll in. That would be called justice being done.
It would be great for a Windows Phone 7 port to not be the perennial whipping boy, but what choice do we have when publishers keep releasing games at four times the price while omitting key features? This week's lucky contestant: ongoing phenomenon Doodle Jump.
The love for Lima Sky's horribly addictive take on Papi Jump is well-documented. With 10 million sales at the last count, you'd be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't spent a few minutes of their lives bouncing the big-nosed alien up an endless array of platforms.
Yes, it's mindless enough to provoke an existential crisis if you spend too long gently tilting your device left and right in the name of high-score-chasing obsession, but there's something sweetly satisfying about hitting a spring or strapping on a jetpack and soaring into the unknown.
The higher you go, the greater the chance of spiralling into the abyss. If there's not a tricky assortment of collapsable platforms lying in wait, there'll be black holes or monsters ready to knock you down a peg or two. You can shoot the buggers, of course, but trying to aim and balance at the same time is enough to make a grown man cry into his touch screen.
As you'd expect, WP7 hardware doesn't even break a sweat at this doodly nonsense, but that hasn't stopped Lima Sky from neglecting to include the online multiplayer mode. It's hardly a deal breaker, but it's still a bit mean-spirited. Maybe extra features will be added in an update, but don't bank on it.