As release schedules go, this week is positively Saharan.
On the horizon lies one oasis of hope - downloadable Xbox Live Arcade title From Dust. It's an extraordinary-looking God game from Ubisoft's arty French arm in Montpellier.
A spiritual successor to Peter Molyneux's seminal Populous, From Dust tasks gamers with guiding a developing culture of islanders. By altering the game's environment users can educate their tribe, save them from impending natural disasters and grow them into an enlightened civilisation.
For those with Kinect, it's worth noting Avatar Kinect is now available. Microsoft has launched the service as part of its downloadable Kinect Fun Labs free app range. Users chat via their miniature Microsoft figures while Kinect tracks facial movements. As you waggle your jaw, your avatar does, too. There are even achievements.
That really is it this week. We scoured the dark corners of the internet (Game's release list) for any sort of forgotten gem. All we found was a pair of Smurfs film tie-ins for Wii and DS which we've literally heard nothing about.
On closer inspection it appears Smurfs DS is a mini-game compilation, and Smurfs Wii is a dance title. Eurogamer reviews have yet to be scheduled.
This Week in Virtual Shops!
- Developer: Ubisoft Montpellier
- Publisher: Ubisoft
- Formats: Xbox 360 (PC release now delayed until 17th August, PSN to follow)
What is it? A world-manipulating, element-controlling sandbox of missions where you get to play God. Reminds us a little of forgotten GameCube title Doshin the Giant, without the suspicious belly buttons. What does Eurogamer think? Diamond in the rough or simply a mirage? Eurogamer's review will be published Tuesday, 5pm.
- Kinect Fun Labs: Avatar Kinect (XBLA)
- Kinect Fun Labs: Kinect Sparkler (XBLA)
- The Smurfs (DS, Wii)
- Mays Mysteries: The Secret of Dragonville (DS)
- Let's Golf! 3D (3DS eShop)
- Baseball (3DS eShop)
Each week one of the team will step up to predict the UK all-formats chart. The following predicts the outcome for the week beginning Friday 29th July (to be reported on Monday 1st August).
Tom Champion, Community Manager, Eurogamer.net
"Well there's not a lot out this week other than a few expansion packs and, erm, Smurfs Dance Party, so I reckon it'll be the usual suspects, albeit in a different order."
"The force of nature that is Zumba Fitness will remain unmoved at number one in much the same manner as Rahul "The Wall" Dravid occupies the crease. Call of Juarez sales will slow, allowing Harry Potter to sneak into second spot. Lego Pirates and Black Ops will complete a fairly familiar looking chart. Ho hum, at least Deus Ex is out next month, eh?"
- Zumba Fitness
- Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Pt. Two
- Call of Juarez: The Cartel
- Lego Pirates of the Caribbean
- Call of Duty: Black Ops
Last week, Eurogamer's Content Editor John Bedford tried to gaze into the future. Our fancy table below shows you how many he got right (not very many).
|Position||The Truth||The Prediction||Result|
|1||Zumba Fitness||Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Pt. Two||NO!|
|2||Call of Juarez: The Cartel||Zumba Fitness||NO!|
|3||Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Pt. Two||Transformers: Dark of the Moon||NO!|
|4||Lego Pirates of the Caribbean||DiRT 3||NO!|
|5||Call of Duty: Black Ops||Call of Juarez: The Cartel||UH OH.|
Your Chart Predictions
Last week we asked you where Call of Juarez: The Cartel would place in this week's charts - only seven per cent of you guessed in second place. The majority (40 per cent) plumped for a top ten finish, with a close-run 36 per cent reckoning the game would chart below that.
This week it's the turn of the Smurfs. Yes, it really has come to this. Take a deep breath then mark your predicted chart placement in the poll below.