Everyone likes super secret access to new games don't they? Especially ones that looks as tempting as ilomilo. Apparently not due for general release on XBLA and Windows Phone 7 until January, it gives developer Southend Interactive the kind of headline-grabbing pre-awareness that a lot of downloadable titles could do with.
If this idea proves to be as popular as it looks certain to be, you can bet that a lot of similar promotions will start to pop up as developers look for innovative ways to get players interested in games that they might usually ignore.
One brilliant idea that Capcom came up with for the release of Dead Rising was to essentially bookend its retail game with a pair of downloadable releases exclusive to XBLA. The question remains whether the Case West epilogue will be as popular as the 600,000-selling Case Zero prologue.
Funky Lab Rat
- PSN - £5.49
You might not readily associate the humble rat with an ability to get their groove on, but needs must when you're being held captive in a lab and you've got electrodes attached to your genitals.
At least that's how Hydravision sees it in this Move-based platform-puzzler, where the power of funk has a magic-like quality to it. In its crazy French world of strikes and improbably delicious bread, groovy rodents come blessed with the ability to throw shapes and manipulate time. And yet, despite being granted these special powers, they feel compelled to repay their masters by trying to escape.
Predictably, that's where you come in, wielding a Move controller with one hand and a Dual Shock in the other (or preferably a Navigation controller if you've got the money). For once, you have to get your head around using both controllers in tandem, as you control the rat's left-right movements with the stick, and both object and time manipulation with the wand.
Much of the time you'll be focused on stacking up objects to allow Monsieur Rat to clamber up to the nearest exit door, but the further you progress, the more careful you have to be when and where you unleash your time-pausing ability. Sometimes, creating safe passage demands that you jump, stop (hammer) time, strategically grab, twist and rotate blocks to bridge a gap, leap again, and then repeat until you're able to eventually reach the elusive door.
Just to keep things interesting, you also have to take into account rat-boy's burgeoning drug habit and hoover up all the pills littering the lab. For reasons probably best not to delve into on a Friday, each one is clouded in smoke until you point your light source at it, thus making you feel good about shelling out for that Move controller.
Then again, given that they only want just over a fiver for something this engaging, I'd happily justify slapping down £35 for Move right now.