Galaga 30th Collection
- iPhone/iPad: Free. Individual games available in-app £1.99-£2.49, or £5.49 for the full four game set (Limited time sale).
In a straight shootout between the dozens of Space Invaders variants of the late 70s/early 80s, Galaga was, and always will be king. As one of the few classic arcade era games that still feels as exciting to play today as it did back then, it's hardly surprising that Namco feels compelled to continually recycle its seminal shooter.
But while the recently released XBLA title Galaga Legions DX provided a turbo-charged 30th anniversary tribute, this four-title retrospective (including Galaxian, Galaga, Gaplus and Galaga '88) offers a more faithful and conservative attempt to bring matters up to date.
Central to the changes are the new weapon system. Rather than having to painstakingly unleash your limited firepower at the massed ranks one at a time, all four games now sport a rechargeable rapid fire system.
Needless to say, this instantly changes the gameplay dynamic from a probing, patient style to one that’s more fast and furious, and with the balance of power firmly shifted in your direction, levels come thick and fast as you cut a swathe through your enemy's feeble defences.
Old school fans will almost certainly consider this sacrilege, but you get the distinct impression that this isn't for them. Perhaps this is a gateway for people who enjoy the idea and aesthetic of retro gaming, but can't be arsed with all the pain and suffering that generally accompanies it.
For that audience it might be a worthy exercise, and the accumulation of redeemable 'Galaga Points' to make matters even easier won't seem like a terrible idea at all. With extra ships, increased bullet count, quicker reload speed, armour, and new skins laying in wait, your leaderboard position can always be improved with a little help.
Taken at face value, these 'remakes' aren't as disastrous as they sound, but not including the original versions alongside them guarantees a testy dismissiveness among the very people who would champion this collection the most.
- iPhone: Free. Ad-free version £1.49.
As the long-standing king of multiple choice quizzes, the maker of the Buzz series has opted for familiar ground with its debut iPhone offering.
With Facebook-integration pushed to the forefront, the idea is to answer as many multiple choice trivia questions as you can and climb the 'Quiz Tree' to prove your all-conquering knowledge of popular culture.
On your own, it's a rather pointless affair as you battle against a stock number of fictional adversaries, but surrender your Facebook credentials and it's a different story. Realising that you're 31st out of 32 players on your list provides a humbling indication that you should probably bone up on your facts.
Unfortunately there's not a great deal to it; just a succession of questions, and no other modes to explore - and if you were expecting Game Center integration or real-time multiplayer competitions, you're out of luck. It's Facebook leaderboards or nothing, for now.
You can buy some lifelines if hogging the leaderboard limelight is especially important to you, but otherwise this is a solid but underwhelming mobile debut from the talented Relentless mob.