On mobiles just as any other platform, a very few games generate blanket coverage in the specialist press, seep into the mainstream media, and become so ubiquitous that they’re virtually sat in the corner of your bedroom winking at you. Certainly that’s been the case recently.
I refer, of course, to the iOS debut of everyone’s favourite early ’00s 3D platforming antipodean carnivorous marsupial, Ty the Tasmanian Tiger. Ha ha ha, I am funny.
Actually, I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Ty. Of all the PS2-era second-string platform stars, his outings were relatively welcome when they landed on my doorstep for review. His iOS debut is similarly reliable: nothing flashy, but a moderately entertaining bit of swipey boomerang flinging.
Granted, a fair chunk of the entertainment comes from the choice Aussie slang – crikey, bonza, ripper, all a lot of fun. But hey, it’s free. In fact, if they’d thrown in the odd strewth and fair dinkum in there, I’d have been completely happy for about a week.
iTunes App Store: free
Okay, so Angry Birds Star Wars has perhaps been getting a little more attention than Ty’s latest outing. Deservedly so, mind – as has been said many times elsewhere, the two properties have been masterfully integrated both artistically and in gameplay terms.
My favourite bit though? The sweeping wipes across the screen in the transition between levels. To me, nothing says Star Wars like that, and it slaps a smirk on my face every time.
Wreck-It Ralph should have been certain to bring on the smiles too – the film certainly seems to be.
Unfortunately, the best of the trio of mini-games so far, inspired by the games in the film, is Fix-It Felix Jr, which is available for free separately. The resemblance to Donkey Kong is nice, even if it’s gone a little further than mere retro authenticity in being simple and repetitive.
Of the other mini-games, Sweet Climber is a pretty vanilla endless jumper, and Heroâ€™s Duty is a reasonably serviceable twin-stick shooter. There are some nice weapons and some enemy variety if you stick with that one, but the virtual controls are far from exemplary, especially since you can only smoothly rotate your direction of fire rather than quickly flick it around.
Buck for your bang
Far more deserving of your money is Punch Quest, which I reviewed a couple of weeks ago. It’s that rarest of things: a game that I’m pleased has switched from free to paid. The lack of income it’s generated has been well documented, so hopefully this change will direct some more pence in a most worthy direction. Honestly, 69p is a steal. Do it.
On a curiously similar note, Fist of Awesome – the game that dares to ask “Ever wanted to PUNCH A BEAR IN THE MOUTH?” – has launched on Kickstarter, and strikes me as a project worth supporting.