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Orbital's DS, GBA games

Pushing new dimensions.

Canadian developer Orbital Media has unveiled two new titles for Nintendo's handheld consoles. And boy do they sound good.

First up is Scurge: Hive for GBA and DS. A government black-ops cell receives a distress signal from a remote research laboratory, where scientists are studying a virulent organism named Scurge which has remarkable metamorphic and energising properties.

Bounty Hunter Jenosa Arma is dispatched to find out what the problem is and salvage any research technology, armed only with some projectile gauntlets and a prototype battle suit.

Not only is the game "intense", "fast-paced" and "action-packed", but will also - wait for it - "raise the bar", according to easily excited Orbital president Steve Shatford.

And that's not all - Scurge: Hive offers "a 100 per cent adrenaline rush", says Steve, adding: "This game just pushed a whole new dimension."

Right. You can see some screenshots for the GBA version here.

Also pushing a new dimension later this year will be Juka and the Monophonic Menace for GBA. It follows the adventures of a young alchemist named Juka, who finds himself in charge of saving the world when local villages start to mysteriously disappear.

Only by mixing up potions, solving loads of puzzles and mastering the ancient art of the "Sound Staff" can Juka free the land of Obla from the evil Monophonic Menace, apparently.

"Juka and the Monophonic Menace is your pre-teens first adventure/action game," said producer Rob Adams. Pardon? [Maybe put an apostrophe on the end of "pre-teens"? -Ed]

"We've created beautifully hand drawn environments in which young players can experiment and interact in.

"We are also introducing a pattern based combat system that keeps the gameplay intensity high, without the use of violence."

Combat system with no violence? How bold. Screenshots are available here.

Juka and the Monophonic Menace is due out on August 25, with Scurge: Hive following on September 19.

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