- £5.49 / Exclusive to Windows Phone 7
If you're going to try and convince folk that WP7 is a gaming phone worth selling your grandmother for, you might as well try and make the best-looking game possible.
The Harvest certainly buys into that idea wholesale, with the kind of lavish production values normally associated with big-budget console titles. Firing it up for the first time, it's hard not to be impressed with its hugely detailed environments, stylish cut-scenes and intricate character design.
The raised eyebrows soon become furrowed, though, once you start prodding your way through Luma Arcade's rather simplistic action-RPG. It's tempting to say that its point-and-click battle mechanics have been refined for mobile play, but that would be an overly generous assessment.
In truth, the relentless Harvester onslaught soon turns into a repetitive grindfest, where deploying a health pack at the right time and activating your butt-stomp special attack appear to be the main ingredients for success. Aside from painstakingly trudging around maps in search of key codes and the occasional boss battle, that's all that The Harvest has to offer.
Thanks to the ability to respawn at the nearest checkpoint, there's zero tension to anything that you do, safe in the knowledge that you can wade in and finish the fight. The only thing likely to stir any emotion within you is the awful loading time - particularly if you deign to allow the game to go into standby and have to reboot it from scratch. If there's a worse optimised mobile game, I've yet to see it.
Luma Arcade certainly succeeded in bringing one of the best-looking games to mobile platforms - it's just a shame that The Harvest quickly reveals itself to be little more than a rather hollow tech demo.
The Revenants: Corridor Of Souls
- £2.49 / Exclusive to WP7
The spirit of the mighty Atic Atac is still twitching in Chaotic Moon's top-down spookfest, if the screenshots are anything to go by. Sadly, they aren't.
As the most ambitious spirit on the block, it's your job to rise to the status of all-consuming Revenant god. Fated to wander the dusty corridors, you must create little portals with your finger and capture all the smaller ghosts lurking in the darkness.
That's easier said than done, mind you, as the game's rather imprecise mechanics make the process of creating these voids a hit-and-miss affair. In basic terms, drawing a quick circle should create a void that causes all the enemies in the vicinity to be dragged mercilessly to their infinite doom. Sometimes, though, your sketching efforts don't register, and you're often left haplessly swirling your fat sausage digits until something happens.
More often than not, though, the immediate price of failure is that you'll wind up hitting one of the smaller ghosts and lose a life. Given how many enemies pour into the fray, this one-hit-kill mentality makes it tough to make any headway, and resigned frustration quickly takes over.
O.M.G. Our Manic Game
- £2.49 / Exclusive to WP7
A week ago we had a shooter called WTF?, and now it's time for OMG to step onto the podium and try and convince us not to LOL at its price tag.
Like most touch-screen vertical shooters, you steer your ship through a hail of enemy flak and try and clock up a respectable score. That's easier said than done, though, as OMG's Big Idea is to enrage your enemies by fondling them inappropriately.
If you dare touch them there then they immediately spew out more bullets in response to your insolence. The payback, though, is a bigger score when you eventually smash them into little chunks, and so a cunning bit of risk-reward plays out.
Seeing as it's from the Arkedo chaps behind a trio of much-admired Xbox Indie titles, you can expect bags of style for your £2.49, with a lovely pseudo vector aesthetic that Jeff Minter would high-five if it ever passed him in the street.
On the downside, it's the sort of thing that's fun for approximately 10 minutes, and therefore worth considerably less than the £2.49 that Microsoft wants for it. Download the free trial, admire its nonsense and move right along.
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