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Mobile Games Roundup

Bejeweled! Potter! Speed! Golf! Birds!

When Activision's Bobby Kotick comes out and says that his company doesn't view the App Store as a big opportunity for dedicated games, that's by no means a bad thing.

Looking at the company's rather meagre mobile output in recent times, it hasn't exactly covered itself in glory – but then neither have many of its traditional publishing rivals. The problem for many of the bigger publishers seems to be a reluctance to design games around the hardware, instead producing ill-suited, cut-down versions of their hits at prices that don't sit well with the average mobile gamer.

The fact that nearly all of the exciting, interesting mobile games released over the past few years have emerged from creative and dynamic independents suggests that it's a market best left to those nimble enough to work around its limitations. It's not as if anyone's exactly pining for a shonky iOS version of Shred or Blood Stone, is it?

Flick Golf

  • iPhone - £1.79
  • iPad - £2.99
Hole in won.

If the guardians of our collective moral conscience are going to whine on about how dangerously addictive games are, for the love of god never show them Flick Golf.

One swish of your imaginary golf club, and it's immediately clear that Full Fat's admirable stab at golf is going to be every bit as compulsive as PikPok's near-legendary Flick Kick Football.

Rather than purely rely on your initial strokeplay to determine the quality of your shot, the game allows you a hilarious degree of aftertouch control once the ball's in the air. With wind buffeting your drive, you'll frantically swipe the screen to counteract the forces of nature in the blind hope that you'll get the ball to land within the scoring zone.

The closer to the pin you get, the more you'll score. Simple. But to keep things interesting, a host of other factors influence your score, such as how much bend and power you put on the shot. For example, if you wind up for a gigantic shot, and then make the shot curve ludicrously, you'll score far more points than if you opt for simple precision.

Trying to top the required points tallies to unlock courses requires a fair bit of improbable play, and whether you'll enjoy that probably depends on your sense of humour.

Me? I found Flick Golf brilliantly stupid; as a representation of badly dressed men hitting balls with skinny sticks, it's completely terrible, but despite its nonsensical mechanics it's impossible to put down.