- iPhone/iPad: £1.49 (Universal binary). Free trial available.
Klaxons usually go off the moment developer proclaims that its "immersive interactive experience" is "not a game".
You could get away with this kind of guff in 1994 when we were all thrilled just to have justification for the £180 we'd shelled out for a CD-ROM add-on. Walking around a 3D tech demo was interactive! And immersive!
Trying to pull the same trick in 2011 is going to be an uphill battle, unless you've got both a beautiful environment to explore and genuine narrative intrigue to make it worth trudging around.
The problem is, Speedbump only gets halfway there on both counts. The story of a man caught between life and death offers tantalising possibilities, but you spend almost all of your time just wandering around in search of the next prescribed object to move the story along.
If you visit a location too soon, you'll not be 'allowed' to pick up the object, and right from the start you get used to continually walking around the rural locale until something eventually clicks.
Payback comes in the form of diary fragments which shed light on the mystery of your predicament, but do little to mitigate the growing boredom of wandering around locations you've scoped out multiple times. Aside from that, the Unreal Engine-powered visuals are only ever serviceable. Epic Citadel this is not.
That said, if you're an old-school adventurer, the free trial mighty well put you in the mood for some stress-free mysterious limbo dancing.
Beards & Beaks
- Windows Phone 7 - £2.49. Free trial available.
- Extra level packs at 80 Microsoft Points each (£0.68)
It has been slim pickings for new - and more importantly original - Windows Phone 7 games for some months now, so there's an air of fevered expectancy surrounding the arrival of this gnome-flicking turf war oddity.
Crows are straying onto the gnomes' once tranquil patch, so the crackpot story goes, so what better than to send your team of gnomes to speak the language of physical violence?
It's pathetically easy at first, with the goal seemingly extending to little more than gathering up gems and smashing up any crows who dare to stray into view.
But, sure enough, things start heating up - your gnomes find themselves put out of commission by the respawning avian horde, and soon you're having to bring in the rock-lobbing heavy artillery and rechargeable attacks, and employing, ulp, a degree of strategy.
While this patient, probing real-time strategy formula never feels likely to provide WP7 users with something to lord over their rival handset owners, there's enough of a creative spark here to warrant further investigation.