Fight Game: Rivals
- Windows Phone 7 - £2.29
I don't know about you, but I've had about as much success playing beat-'em-ups on touch screen devices as I've had becoming the King of England. And yet they try.
Fight Game: Rivals' intriguing solution to this on-going dissatisfaction is to junk the traditional mechanics, set fire to them and dance around them wailing. Well, not quite, but it's a pleasing image.
Instead, the sequence of testosterone-soaked man-bashing is turn-based. You select your preferred manoeuvre and proceed to tap circles on your subject's skeleton at the right moment.
If that sounds completely cracked, it is, but it doesn't stop it from becoming strangely enjoyable once the challenge kicks up a few gears.
For a while, victory feels a bit of a foregone conclusion, and the ease with which you'll fly through the trial levels doesn't do the game any favours.
But once you've progressed through a few tournaments and unlocked some new moves, the whole thing gets more frantic, with a greater emphasis on swift timing and precision.
No-one should expect Fight Game: Rivals to pass as a beat-'em-up - it patently isn't. But as a curious hybrid, it deserves a nod of approval for trying something different.
- iPhone - £1.49
Sad as it is when a much-loved studio goes down the toilet, the talent splurge hitting the download gaming scene is there for all to see. Case in point: Hogrocket's Tiny Invaders, a project forged from the ashes of the mighty Bizarre Creations.
At its twisted heart, this curious tale of tentacled space-germ aliens is equal parts racing game and puzzle game, as you herd them around the innards of unsuspecting humans, trying to infect your hosts as quickly as possible.
But before you can fill them with rancid green ooze and take over their minds you must work your way round a series of circuits, picking up blobs and bringing them back to the ship.
In the initial stages, it's fairly simple stuff, with straightforward circular layouts and a modicum of train-style junction point switching involved. As long as you're diligent enough to switch to the appropriate branch at the right time, it's usually an easy task to qualify for at least two of the available three performance stars.
But once you progress beyond the first three hosts the layouts become far more elaborate, hazard-strewn and unforgiving. No longer does it simply require marshalling the aliens around the best route; you need to figure out how best to avoid the patrolling sentries via a precise sequence of junctions and teleporters.
Suddenly levels will take dozens of attempts to solve, and the one-more-go nature of the game unfurls from its initially underwhelming beginnings. After that, it comes into its own - and with new levels set to come on stream via updates, Tiny Invaders has plenty more to offer before it's done with us.