The sun is shining, the sky is blue, what better than to crack open a can of beer, forget about the football, and kick back in a lazy chair in the garden with this week's line-up of downloadable games. It's not a vintage collection this week, though, with a few dead-certs turning out to be rather limp, and interesting curiosities turning out to be little more than that.
But if you've got a PC or Mac, then one game you absolutely must not miss out on is the excellent Puzzle Dimension, developed by the brilliantly named Doctor Entertainment. Formed by a small team of veterans culled from the likes of IO, Starbreeze and DICE, these Scandinavians have come up with one of the most brain-bending 3D puzzle games you've ever seen. Save yourself the pain and misery of the World Cup and pick sunflowers while training your brain in the art of spatial visualisation instead.
- iPhone / Ł1.79
Quite how or why it has taken Activision so long to bring something as straightforward as Guitar Hero to the iPhone is interesting, but is it better late than never? Not really.
On a platform already well-stocked with rival rhythm action games like Tap Tap Revenge, Guitar Rock Tour and, of course, Rock Band, Vicarious Visions really needed to pull something out of the hat to make anyone care, and unfortunately it fails on almost every level to do anything better than what's gone before.
The basic gameplay looks solid enough on the surface, with more fault-tolerant tap zones than, say, Guitar Rock Tour, and some fun innovations such as the need to 'strum' certain parts of the song on the fretboard. But with a miserly six songs present in the set list (versus 28 songs in the marginally more expensive Rock Band), and a pathetic selection of songs in the store, it hardly hits the ground running.
On top of that, Guitar Hero loses out in a number of other ways, with play modes restricted to guitar or bass, no multiplayer mode and poor character customisation. This dismal effort deserves to be mercilessly bottled off the stage.
Face Pilot: Fly With Your Nintendo DSi Camera!
- DSiWare / 500 DSi Points (Ł4.50)
I would like to thank Nintendo for continuing to steal food out of my own child's mouth with its over-descriptive, mini-game-review titles. They might as well have gone the whole hog and called it Face Pilot: Fly With Your Nintendo DSi Camera and Microphone - Cheap Shallow Fun But Flaky 6/10.
Anyway. HAL Laboratories' endearing little experiment does indeed require you to use your own ugly mug to pilot a glider. After you've taken a quick gurning snap, you don a fetching helmet and soar through the sky by wobbling your head around like a virtual joystick.
The DSi's built-in camera tracks your movements, so tilting your head sideways banks your glider left or right, while tilting your bonce back or forward climbs or dives. It's a lovely idea, albeit somewhat limited in scope thanks to the imprecision of the tracking. As with all of the DSi camera-based titles to date, if you happen to be playing in anything less than optimum lighting conditions, you'll struggle to keep control.
On top of that, the challenges are all a tad perfunctory. Popping balloons, throwing balls at targets and speed trials are the extent of the fun, and you'll romp through most of the 'tracks' in a matter of minutes. Eventually you'll unlock faster gliders, or ones that require you to blow into the microphone, but the novelty value soon wanes. File under 'charming but broken DSi experiments'.