Version tested: iPhone
And the hits just keep on coming. This isn't so much getting silly as completely unacceptably, window-lickingly insane. The sheer volume of stupendously high-quality games that press their pleading faces against the touchscreen glass every week is actually pretty distressing in its own way.
Five games per week sounded perfectly generous when we spun-off the Mobile Games from the Download Games Roundup, and yet it feels like we're only scratching the surface. Every time, I compile a decent list, but you can guarantee that something else will come along and elbow its way in at the death. Take this week. Having sat down to write it up, Zoo Keeper - of all things - comes along and kicks everything else to the kerb, and then the wonderfully ludicrous D-Captatrix shimmies into view like it owns the place. And it does.
So, tough luck 1000 Heroz, we'll come back to you another time. And geoDefense, and Touchgrind BMX and all your fine-looking friends. We'll meet again. Until then: games!
[Plus! In a bonus round, special guest reviewer Dan Pearson brings us an expert verdict on Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting. -Ed.]
Zoo Keeper DX Touch Edition
- iPhone/iPad (universal binary) - £1.19 (half price launch offer)
It wasn't allthat long ago when us reviewer types had to weigh up whether it was really worth paying up to £30 to play the world's most addictive riff on Bejeweled. We'd write from our shoebox in the middle of the motorway, munch on coal and be bloody grateful.
Several hundred hours of hollow-eyed, match-three animal swapping later, we'd decamp from our central reservation and wash up at Zoo Keeper's Anonymous, muttering high scores to one another like whey-faced children from the early 1980s.
Zoo Keeper's journey to iOS can mean only one thing: it's time to fall off the wagon and surrender our free time and tenuous grip on sanity in the name of rapid animal matching.
But don't have a heart attack just yet. Saucy little tease that it is, Kiteretsu Inc. has elected to only dangle the carrot of Normal and Tokoton modes in the initial release, meaning that you'll have to wait for the likes of Time Attack and Quest mode to make it into the package.
In the meantime, though, what you get more than justifies the piddling £1.19 that it's currently being sold at, with online leaderboards and Game Center integration likely to have you frantically adding friends like nothing before it (krudsteruk, before you ask).
In terms of how it performs on an Apple touchscreen, the answer is: flawlessly. There's an obvious advantage to playing it on the iPad, though, because it's likely that your porky old man-digits will obscure just enough of the iPhone or iPod touch screen to prove an irritation when the going gets tough. Ladies' mileage may vary.
Some of you might wearily point out that Piyo Blocks 2 already does everything that Zoo Keeper does and more, so why get excited? If you try to rationalise it, it all sounds a bit flimsy. The music's brilliant. The cute icons are brilliant. The perennially disappointed boss: brilliant. How much brilliance do you need in one game? A lot? Good. Then you'll be a credit to this zoo.