By Jon Mundy
A selection of the highlights from the world of mobile gaming across the past month.
69p on Apple iOS
Make like Evel Knievel in Chillingo’s colourful motorbike stunt-’em-up. Max Awesome requires you to jump, duck and somersault your way through each obstacle-strewn course, with a mixture of style and efficiency.
If you’ve every played Joe Danger on the home consoles you’ll know exactly where the developer got its inspiration from, but even if you haven’t you’ll be able to get into Max Awesome’s easy-going platform-racer action without much trouble. You can customise Max’s appearance and even build your own levels if you prefer to make your own fun.
Free on Apple iOS (reviewed), Android and Kindle Fire HD
By Lemon Team
The first game published by Amazon Digital Services is well worthy of the retail giant’s name. Air Patriot splices together elements of Fieldrunners-like tower defence and Flight Control-like line-drawing action to form a unique action-strategy experience.
You must take on waves of enemy tanks by sketching out the attack paths for a squadron of fighter planes, bolstering your forces where necessary. While things can get a little busy at times, with upwards of a dozen planes on screen at once, Air Patriot is a delightfully moreish mish-mash of familiar elements.
Angry Birds Star Wars
Android/Apple iOS 69p, WP8 79p
See our full review here
Super Tiny Leap
69p on Apple iOS
The Game Atelier
Just when you thought the App Store couldn’t possibly squeeze in another Doodle Jump type game, Super Tiny Leap comes along with a neat twist on the formula. The goal is still to propel your cute little character (here a pixel-art robot) ever upwards, but this time you must place your own platforms.
Tapping the screen lays a springy box in space, which adds an extra layer of skill and precariousness to proceedings – as does the fact that you need to keep topping up your box collection as you ascend.
Curiosity – what’s in the cube?
Free on Android (reviewed) and Apple iOS
It’s tough to know whether Curiosity is a game, an app, or some machiavellian experiment. All we know is this: we can’t stop ‘playing’ it, in spite of a bunch of early bugs and stability issues. Confronted by a vast cube, which is itself formed of millions of smaller cubes, you must chip away by tapping the screen.
The twist is that every other player in the world is tapping away at the same cube, so peeling away each layer takes on the feeling of a communal project. The person who taps the very last block gets a “life-changing” prize, too.
Free on Apple iOS
Flying Wisdom Studios
The old school light gun shooter is alive and well on iOS with Outlaw – minus the gaudy gun peripheral and sticky carpets, of course. Resurrecting the classic Atari wild west shooter for a new generation, Outlaw offers a virtual d-pad aiming system that requires real skill to use and a whole bunch of weapons to use.
This being a modern iOS game there’s an in-app purchase system to contend with, but it’s been handled with admirable sensitivity. When it comes to progress, skill trumps money every time, which is the way it needs to be with such a straight-forward game.
Storm the Train
Free on Apple iOS
From the team that brought us the wonderful Whale Trail, Storm the Train represents an altogether more aggressive casual iOS experience. This is a platform-shooter in which you must storm a series of trains with a selection of gung-ho characters and enough firepower to equip an army.
Where Storm the Train wins bonus points is in the sheer variety of diversionary tactics it employs to keep you playing. Boss battles, brief vehicle sections and the occasional (and literal) leap into the future all spice up what is actually a pretty repetitive and shallow experience.
DreamWorks Dash ‘n’ Drop
69p on Apple iOS (reviewed) and Android
This cheery tie-in with the new DreamWorks movie, Rise of the Guardians, is the perfect game if you’re feeling particularly festive. Take control of the jolly fat man himself and deliver presents to the homes of kids around the world, dodging nightmares and collecting coins along the way.
In practice this plays out rather like Whale Trail and its ilk, pressing the screen to dive and releasing to ascend. It’s not particularly original, then, but DreamWorks Dash n Drop is the perfect piece of digital confectionary to consume this holiday season.