Clearly no introduction tapped out in the aftermath of hung parliament fun could resist making some reference to the fact Eurogamer now resides in the UK's first Green constituency. Appropriate, really, because part of the mandate for any download-friendly game is to lovingly recycle the things that other people leave behind.
This week, all four of our selections stick to these fine ecological principles, with Rocket Knight and Babylonian Twins both being recycled from 1993, while Wario Ware's appearance on WiiWare nicely reheats some leftovers from Intelligent Systems' DS release. DodoGO!, on the other hand, rummages through the bins of Lemmings and Dizzy, scrapes off the mould and creates a rather tasty new morsel. Enjoy!
Babylonian Twins: The Quest For Peace In Ancient Iraq
- iPhone / £0.59/ Trial version free
Taking 17 years to get a game to market must be some sort of record, but designer Rabah Shihab hasn't been gorging on coke and hookers. The Iraq War is a pretty decent excuse for tardiness.
Originally destined for the Amiga back in 1993, economic sanctions put the kibosh on Babylonian Twins' chances of reaching the wider world, and the game appeared destined to be shelved forever - until now.
Re-imagined for iPhone and visually overhauled to take advantage of the Apple handheld's crisp display, this thoroughly fiendish platform-puzzler has stood the test of time remarkably well.
With a nod to Blizzard's long-forgotten 16-bit platformer The Lost Vikings, you must continually switch between two characters and take advantage of their individual skills to collect the four golden palm trees hidden within each level.
Twin princes Nasir and Blasir one can smash through walls, while the other can jump higher, smash pots and drill down through crumbling floors. By touching the top-left of the screen, you can switch between the two on the fly and gradually explore deeper into the level as you open up new routes for one another.
In terms of level design, Babylonian Twins scores top marks, with some superb challenges that provide a true test of your platforming mettle. The problem is, the margin for error with touch-screen controls makes it far too easy to slip up and take damage from the numerous sentries doggedly patrolling every corridor.
With a combat mechanic that only allows you to temporarily stun your foe, you'll continually find yourself losing health and lives due to control imprecision rather than sloppy play, and with no mid-level checkpoint, progress rests on a knife-edge. The frustration of having to start over builds with every failure.
If it had a decent checkpoint system, Babylonian Twins would be excellent, so let's hope future builds respond to the feedback.
Wario Ware D.I.Y. Showcase
- WiiWare / 800 Wii Points
Intelligent Systems could probably make Wario Ware games until they were literally pouring out of my nose and I'd still play them, and this WiiWare companion release to the just-released DS version is no different.
Essentially built as a means of importing your own (and other people's) creations from the DS version of the game, there's actually a bit more to this than might initially meet the eye. Given that it has 72 all-new microgames, you could just buy this as a pleasantly cheap mini new Wario Ware game and plough through them racking up high scores like you usually do.
On the other hand, if you use it as intended, you can also upload all 72 new microgames to the DS and bolster your catalogue of games within Wario Ware D.I.Y.
Multiplayer fun has also been thrown into the pot, with up to four players challenged with solving each game. Each player is knocked out once they've suffered four losses, but don't get too excited, eh?
The microgames are as lovably barking as usual, but don't go expecting any motion-based challenges as with Touched. Given the need to maintain compatibility with the touch-screen nature of DS, all are firmly point-and-click, somewhat reducing the scope for japes.
Still, if you fancy a means of enjoying the unhinged insanity of user-created microgames on the big screen, Showcase is a worthy purchase.
- DSiWare / 800 DSi Points
I face the very real threat of death if I call this 'eggsellent', so let's steer well clear of attributing that particular superlative to Neko Entertainment's superb twist on Lemmings.
As with DMA's enduring classic, the idea is to safely shepherd a gaggle of hapless souls over a hazard-strewn environment to an exit. In DodoGo!'s case, you have to gently guide some fragile Dodo eggs to their nest without damaging, breaking or upsetting them.
Thoroughly depressed at the voting habits of Broken Britain, these poor souls need cheering up before they arrive at their goal, so you find yourself engaging in a bit of gentle cajoling and stroking before they're in the right frame of mind to nestle in the safe confines of their nest.
Fall too far and they either break entirely or are so badly damaged that you have to draw platforms to catch them, burn wooden obstacles, place springs to launch them to a safer route, or even bellow "stop" or "go" into the DSi's microphone to let them know who's boss. With the clock ticking, you have to work fast to gain medals and ensure that as many of your eggy friends reach their destination to extract the best possible grading.
DodoGO!'s bold, captivating cartoon visuals, the requisite jolly soundtrack and 100 levels to plough through mean it offers decent value for its 800-Point 'premium' status. It's absorbing and challenging without being irritating, and you should give it a crack.
Yes, that was an egg joke.
- PC (Steam), PSN, XBLA
Increasingly fond of mining its rich seam of dusty retro classics, Konami has delved into a particularly cobweb-covered corner of its illustrious back catalogue, choosing to revive a brand that has remained dormant for some sixteen years.
Famous on the Mega Drive for about a year over two titles, Rocket Knight has been re-imagined by Climax as a slick 2.5D platformer-cum-shooter. As you did back then (if you were alive, youngsters), you play as Sparkster, a sword-wielding opossum knight who just happens to have a rocket pack strapped to his back.
Tasked with reaching the end of the level quick-smart, you bound, slice and blast your way around 14 colourful environments with cheerful abandon, collecting gems and dodging a procession of traps just like we used to daily in the pre-internet era. It was like a form of gaming national service. Everyone had to do it.
Now and then you face off against stubborn, giant boss creatures with missile-spewing routines, and weak spots patented in the early nineties. There you are, leaping like Bugaboo The Flea after too much Irn Bru in frantic avoidance of their deadly attacks, and wistfully humming the theme tune to World of Sport. You're 37, you're playing bouncy kid-friendly games that, strangely, your kid thinks is a bit rubbish, but you're having fun. Life is good.
It's hard to know how many people are really going to care about the return of Rocket Knight. Climax has done a decent job of giving it a modern sheen, but while it's mildly entertaining and completely inoffensive, it's also forgettable. It's a bit like when one-hit-wonder indie bands get back together and go out on tour to relive their glory days. Some things were just of their time and should remain that way.