Mobile Games Roundup • Page 2

Coaster! Battlefield! Heist! Soccer! Gesundheit!

Groove Coaster

  • iPhone/iPad - 0.69. (Universal binary)

As someone who invests approximately 10 per cent of the working day in exorcising my inner Keith Moon on the desk, I approve heartily of Reissue Ishida's decision to produce a "next gen groove game" for the rhythmically fidgety among us.

As the groove works its way inexorably down a restlessly winding track, the gist is to tap the screen to the beat. But unlike several hand-mangling touch-based rhythm action titles I could mention, Groove Coaster focuses purely on one-finger gameplay.

Fortunately for those who enjoy a challenge, it embellishes this seemingly boring task in a variety of ways. Normally you're focused on hitting blobs as they scroll towards the touch zone, but as the song progresses, the track tends to veer in drunken spirals and often throws in rapid beats at the last moment to try to catch you out.

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Groove is in the art.

On top of that, you're tasked with pulling off directional swipes, finger wiggles and moments where you simply need to hold your finger down for the required time. But as with any rhythm action game, it's all about building up successive hits, perfect timing and avoiding mistakes to get the best grades.

Nevertheless, Groove Coaster still lacks enough of a challenge to be interesting, and it's only when you play each song on hard that the game's potential reveals itself. Even then, it's unlikely that hardcore rhythm action fiends will care much for its casual approach.

Mere mortals might find it more appealing, though, and with its fine selection of blissed-out Japanese electronica and soothing psychedelic geometry to consume, night bus journeys need never be the same again.

8/10

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

  • Xperia Play: Available via handset
  • Also available on iPhone (1.99) and iPad (4.99)

As long as first-person shooters continue to shift gazillions to goggle-eyed Xbox 360 and PS3 owners, you can count on watered-down versions cropping up on mobile platforms.

Case in point: Battlefield: Bad Company 2. It doesn't seem to matter if the game in question bears virtually no resemblance to the original, just as long as there are guns to fire and men to shoot.

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Bad bad company.

That might not be a bad thing if the game could stand on its own merits, but it's obvious within the first couple of minutes that this apologetic offering is not going to break the mould for mobile shooters.

The problem, as ever, is a combination of poor controls and half-hearted level design befitting a low-budget offering. And because it's designed to accommodate the control limitations, you end up with utterly brainless AI and a succession of forgettable encounters.

Even in technical terms it's a let-down, with horribly compromised visuals that should be shut in a box marked '1999' and left there. When Gameloft shovels this sort of stuff out there you half-expect it, but DICE ought to be setting an example, not following it.

Talk of multiplayer combat with up to 10 players might sound vaguely interesting. But really, all Bad Company 2 does is underline all the reasons why you should forget about mobile first-person shooters for now.

3/10

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