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Mobile Games Roundup

Capcom! Evac! Phoenix! Ragdoll! Mysterious!

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

How many gaming platforms do you have in your life? Two? Five? How about 15? Because that's how many some of us here at EG have to pay attention to in order to filter out the most interesting nuggets for your delectation.

But that's the nature of the increasingly fragmented market these days. No sooner have you caught up on the latest additions to PSN, WiiWare, DSiWare, Xbox Live Indie and Steam than a barrel-load of hot new Android, iPhone, iPad and Windows Phone 7 titles have hit the virtual stores. And that's before you've even taken into account the new boxed releases, or wistfully gazed at the retro scene.

And then someone comes along and asks you about reviewing Facebook apps, so you step on a pressure plate and an anvil crushes you to a squishy pulp. Problem solved. It's official: you can have too many games.

Capcom Arcade

  • iPhone - free (in-app purchases £0.59, or £1.79 per game)
How to make arcade games even less fun, part 49.

Few publishers display such determination to tug on the flaccid teat of retro gaming as Capcom, so it's about as surprising as a grey day in London to see an arcade portal app shuffling into view.

Cunningly, you're coaxed into its alluringly scented web of nostalgia by virtue of it being free. Granted three free tokens per day, you can have a quick blast of Ghosts 'n' Goblins , Commando, 1942, or Street Fighter II: World Warrior, and see how you get on.

The problem is, obviously, that all of these titles demand insanely precise controls, coupled with superhuman twitch gaming abilities and a mastery of pattern recognition. You'd have an equal amount of success playing them with your ears.

Still, if you're determined to prove that virtual joysticks work just fine, then you'll also have to battle against poor optimisation and frame rate issues. That's fine if you never intend to pay for the thing, but not so dandy when owning each game outright sets you back £1.79.

You can also shell out for a somewhat dubious selection of in-app purchases, such as extra lives, stronger magic, or extra armour, but at 59 pence a pop, you might reasonably decide that Capcom can think again. There are many ways of sampling ancient retro classics, but sadly this is only worth looking at to point and laugh.