Throw Call of Duty in the bin! Move aside, Diablo 3, budge it, Battlefield and make way for The Simulator.
Not 20 yards from my house is a penned-off area which the council, judging by the logo-festooned barriers, has clearly commissioned a contractor to work on. It's basically a big hole in the road, and has gone untended for some four or five days now. Every time I walk past on my way to work, two emotions resume their daily struggle.
The first is a tutting sense of gentle outrage that a slice of my council tax is trundling slowly, inexorably, into the contractor's purse as he juggles his teams around various jobs for maximum profit. Standard stuff; we all know it happens. And maybe this makes me a bad citizen, but my civic concern is soon shoved gleefully aside by the second: a kind of boyish wonder at the very innards of infrastructure. There's a number of coloured pipes down there, that are obviously pumping vital services into houses like mine. What substance does the blue plastic pipe transport? And that huge yellow one next to it? If I was a little more Victorian in my principles, I'd roll up to the nearest workman, and inquire as to the nature of these services, just to know more about how it all works. If only I could find a workman to ask, obviously.
Crane Simulator 2009 caters to the second of these emotions. It seeks to engage the fascination men have with artifice and construction, and the skilled control of precision equipment. Building stuff to further the cause is in our blood, and that's evident in so many forms of gaming. From the swiftly crafted series of passes and crosses culminating in the perfect goal, to upgrading a barracks so it can knock out stick-men with rocket launchers, it's all about the build. How can Crane Simulator 2009 fail?