Ridge Racer Accelerated HD
With a few notable exceptions, touch-screen racing has been about as much fun as shaving with a blunt disposable. Like the humble Bic, it does the job, just about, but with a fair amount of blood and cursing.
Unsurprisingly, Ridge Racer is just as inglorious. It does its best to entice fans of the classic series, with 22 tracks to master, Arcade, Duel, Survival and Time Attack modes, not to mention numerous car classes to experiment with, but the problem isn't the content, it's the execution.
The tactile element of Ridge Racer's drift-heavy steering is vital to the feel of the series, and it's something that's difficult to replicate via touch or tilt-based control systems. The fact Namco offers so many variations in an attempt to nail it just goes to show how hard it is.
Auto-acceleration, for example, theoretically makes it easier to focus on steering, but it's not enough. Becoming proficient is likely to take an absolute age, and is such an aggravating process that it feels more like work than thrilling, pedal-to-the-metal excess.
Even if you do manage to click with it, the murky environments and low-poly car models are a meagre incentive to persist. Then there's the premium price.
All round, it's a compendium of disappointment, and something to which only super-hardcore Ridge Racer fans need subject themselves.
Tiki Towers 2: Monkey Republic
- iPhone/iPad - £1.79
Are we bored of monkeys in videogames yet? Thought not. With that in mind, you won't object to their presence in the inevitable sequel to Gamehouse's bridge-building super-hit of a couple of years back.
The idea is to ensure five monkeys make it to an exit without plunging to their doom. Doing so involves careful planning on your part, as you figure out the best way to put together a precious structure without it breaking under the weight of monkey business.
At first it's all about slotting together coconut and bamboo, but as you delve deeper into the 30 levels it gradually becomes more complicated, with careful use of vines, magnets and bolts required especially if you're concerned with picking up the bonus bananas scattered around.
As much as we like a challenge though, sometimes the level designers delight in raising your blood pressure rather too much, with scant resources often leading to an interminable amount of trial and error.
The other problem is that the game's playability really suffers on the smaller screen of the iPhone, with your big fat sausage fingers liable to make it damned near impossible to see where you're laying each component. On the iPad, such niggles don't apply, and fortunately publisher RealNetworks has seen fit to make this a unified binary.
On the other hand, with the original game offering 54 just-as-good levels for a fraction of the price, you're probably better off using that one to service your bridge-building, monkey-saving needs.
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