Max and the Magic Marker

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Max & The Magic Marker coming to PSN

Acclaimed indie platformer out next week.

Acclaimed 2D indie side-scroller Max & The Magic Marker expands to PlayStation Network on 28th September, publisher Pan Vision has announced.

Games for Windows Phone 7

Games for Windows Phone 7

A Mobile Games Roundup special.

Yes, we've finally turned our Medusa-like gaze to Microsoft's recently launched Windows Phone 7 platform, and donned our waders to stride manfully through the detritus of the launch line-up to pluck out the gems.

In terms of game quality, the first impressions are certainly positive, with some fairly decent exclusives lining up alongside canny ports of recent indie hits. Considering it's still in the launch phase, there's just about enough to differentiate it from the iPhone and Android crowds.

On the downside, the game prices are - to say the least - questionable, with most being launched at hugely optimistic levels that dwarf the equivalent cost on rival mobile platforms. Some ports of iOS titles, in particular, are so expensive they seem designed specifically to put people off ever buying a Windows Phone 7 handset. It might be early days, but even the most hardened Microsoft apologist would have difficulty justifying an ageing iPhone game costing nine times as much on WP7.

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Max and the Magic Marker

Max and the Magic Marker

The inking man's platformer.

Blame LittleBigPlanet. Before November 2008 platform games were all about running, jumping and collecting gold things, none of this "Play, Create, Share" business. Since then the likes of Crayon Physics Deluxe, World of Goo and Scribblenauts have taken the concept even further, challenging players not only to think outside the box but draw the bloody thing.

Bad news for lazy types, then, but good news for gamers who like being invited to solve problems in creative ways. And here comes another addition to the genre (art sims? Drawing games? Plartformers?) in the shape of Max and the Magic Marker, a WiiWare game from Danish studio Press Play.

The titular character's adventures begin when he receives a mysterious marker in the post. He uses it to draw a monster, who comes to life and starts causing havoc in Max's sketches. So Max draws himself into them too, and sets about trying to put things right.

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WiiWare: Coming Soon

Putting the indie into Nintendo.

Last month, Nintendo held an event in London to showcase the line-up of near-future releases for its twin downloadable gaming catalogues, WiiWare and DSiWare. The context was exactly as you'd expect: a plush venue with spectacular views of the capital; a marketing presentation with words of reassurance for retail, and an undertone of envy for Apple's success with the App Store; a smattering of news, a few names showing faces (David Braben, Kenji Eno, Dave Grossman) and a star turn from a slick sequel, LostWinds: Winter of the Melodias.