Touchmaster

TouchMaster

TouchMaster

Classic pub games for the cost of a round.

As timely releases go, this must be set to the Atomic Clock. Just as the pubs boot smokers out in the rain, so Midway pitches up with a compilation of crap old touch-screen pub games. You know - Target 21, Phoenix 13, 5 Star Generals, Trivia, Word Search. If the bells aren't ringing, picture the three blokes in paint-splattered t-shirts leaning against a huge lump of space-age plastic, pints atop, tapping icons on the screen. 80% chance, 20% practised anticipation, they're all a bit naff - but if you've been banished outside with a tab, why not take the best bit of the pub with you? This could be your 42 All-Time Classics.

You could argue it's gone the other direction. Forget Nintendo's increasingly prevalent Daily modes, downloads and redux editions - all bright colours and clear presentation - because this is as rough and ready as they come. The menus resemble a Geocities homepage from 1998: crap frames, chunky buttons, too much colour and not enough information. You half expect to stumble upon that "Under Construction" graphic of a man with a spade. There's no "look beyond" here, either: some of the in-game graphics would shame an IT class playing with Paint. For the first time. The better ones are functional. The best you can say is that you can make out the details without having to squint in more than a handful of cases.

The games aren't even very memorable unless you've ever been a drunken builder. They just have something. Target 21 tees up cards and the idea is to distribute them between five piles so that each is as close to 21 as possible. When you can't get any closer, or you run out of "skip" prompts, you bank the points and proceed to the next round. You can't predict how it will go, but you can develop the odd tactic to avoid premature catastrophe, and eventually build up quite high scores and unlock bonus rounds, with a bit of luck.

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