- Xbox Live Indie Games
- 400 Microsoft Points (£3.40)
"400 points for an Indie game?" You can positively feel the steaming indignation all the way down here in Brighton. Fortunately, Kydo's latest helping of psychotic game rage is well worth the increased blood pressure and inevitable psychotherapy that results from prolonged exposure to its fleshy innards.
Just like the developer's previous offering, Soul, it all looks innocent enough, with its cutesy premise to bring light back to the gloomy forests. You control a wee yellow Pikachu-Monkey thing, who swings DK King of Swing-stylee around, attempting to hoover up all the fireflies hovering peacefully in the night air.
Dotted around the place are little trees, and placing the fireflies onto them helps illuminate the landscape and, eventually, lets you sneak out of the exit.
Blessed with slightly eccentric game mechanics, you'll spend much of your time barrelling around haplessly, using the left and right triggers to attach yourself to red or blue swing points. If you manage to let go at the right time and quickly switch to the other trigger, the opposing force propels you much further than simply jumping off.
Though it's initially fiddly, you eventually engage in its rhythms and furiously addictive challenges. Either that or you spontaneously combust trying to escape from the huge stag beetle on the fourth level. See if you can do it in under the 160 attempts it took me.
- Xbox Live Arcade
- 800 Microsoft Points
Do you care about which warriors from history were more deadly? Do you lie awake at night pontificating about whether a ninja could mess up a viking, or whether the armour strength of a pirate would put him at a disadvantage against a mighty knight? Then we have just the game for you!
Based on Spike's popular (and ridiculed) TV show of the same name, Deadliest Warrior attempts to answer such furiously debated questions in the context of this rather hollow beat-'em-up.
Having evidently ignored all of the best bits of Street Fighter, Tekken, Virtua Fighter and even Mortal Kombat, we're instead treated to a fighting game entirely devoid of combos. It's like the last 22 years of fighting game evolution never happened, with a hilariously limited range of moves.
You can choose from four different basic attacks assigned to the face buttons, dodge with the right stick, block with the right trigger and perform a signature move with RB. Thanks to a quite absurd damage system, you can find yourself downed in three or four hits, usually meted out with all the precision of a Friday night drunk in Basildon.
Sadly, Pipework Software didn't dare to tackle the thorny issue of whether the IRA could take out the Taliban (as the show infamously did), but it does let you chop your opponent's arm off. A crumb of comfort for some, I'm sure.
- - DSiWare
- 500 DSi points (£4.50/€5)
I suppose 'Marble Flicker' probably wouldn't have been as catchy a title, but it would have been a whole lot more accurate and honest than passing off this breaktime diversion as Crazy Golf.
Once you get over the harrowing disappointment of being mislead so mercilessly, you might even start to enjoy Cranberry Production's latest DSiWare effort. The idea is to coax a ball/marble/cluster of murderous molecules across a table into a portal of doom. At least that's what I read into it.
The table is strewn with random desktop objects, such as pencils, rulers and coffee mugs, and you must try and reach your goal as quickly as possible and with as few shots as possible. With its simple putting mechanic, you simply point and drag a dotted line to vary direction and power, and let go when you're good and ready.
Shots ping all over the place, often snagging on obstacles or dropping down holes, and you quickly get horribly sucked into mastering the array of improbably challenging courses.
Crazy Golf is hardly a revolution in handheld gaming, but sometimes all you want to do of a day is flick balls across pretend courses, if only to ward off the impending existential crisis.