Mobile Games Roundup
Quiz Climber! Galaga! Tentacles!
If last week's Develop conference down in Brighton was any indication, an awful lot of Brit studios are putting their faith in the mobile (and downloadable) gaming market right now.
We should probably be super-excited about this return to the glory days of unfettered creativity before everyone got bought up and closed down. To a certain extent we are, but you wonder just how many of these nimble studios can succeed when the competition is so cut-throat, and even getting noticed can be extremely tough.
And it's no great surprise to find that we have two veteran British studios serving up their debut iOS offerings. Zee 3 (a.k.a. The Pickford Brothers) storm out of the gate with Magnetic Billiards, while Relentless (of Buzz fame) partner up with Chillingo to bring us Quiz Climber. Who will win? Who will crash and burn? Ooh, the tension.
- Windows Phone 7: £3.99
Tentacles and mad scientists have always been uneasy bedfellows. But this time it's not the tentacles trying to take over the world, but a mad half-man half-dolphin who's meddling with the order of nature.
In an attempt to create the cutest creature ever, Dr Phluff managed to achieve the exact opposite and create a slimy black blob with three tentacles, a claw and an insatiable appetite for eyeballs. Rather than be grateful for your existence, you decide to leap into Phluff's gaping maw and systematically take him down from the inside.
In gameplay terms, the reality of Press Play's latest is just as cracked as the premise as you explore the innards of your demented host. Each of the game's 40 levels essentially involves safely navigating each winding passage by repeatedly attaching and detaching your sticky tentacles to the sides of your environment.
And in true Fantastic Voyage style, your blob's journey is a relentlessly fraught one as you attempt to dodge the microscopic hazards eager to snuff you out at the slightest provocation. If you're not gently tip-toeing over acidic or spiky death traps, you're having to run the gauntlet from other genetically modified monsters.
There are times when the exacting challenge spills over into fumble fingered frustration, but the playfully oozing menace always seems to coax you back for more.