Like a mad aunt who sends birthday cards at Easter, we’re a bit late with this festive game, but hey, it’s the thought that counts, right? Disney’s A Christmas Carol (we always thought it was Dickens’, but what do we know?) accompanies the film, and, as the classic story doesn’t lend itself to platforming, it’s a mish-mash of minigames and point ’n’ click puzzles.
This puzzler is a modified version of PC point ’n’ clicker The Scorpio Ritual. The plot (religious artifacts, untold powers, sinister cover-up) remains, as do most characters (feisty lady archaeologist, crusty professor), but a lot of the pointing ’n’ clicking has been excised in favor of seeking ’n’ solving, followed by yawning ’n’ wishing you’d bought something else.
Fans of the fictional encyclopedia of the same name will be familiar with what’s on offer here. As a rookie ‘dragonologist’ you’re tasked with locating the beasts via a repetitive routine of finding and examining clues, such as making footprint moulds or inspecting claws. Then you must catch a scaly giant, take its picture or sneak up on it to steal its treasure.
We’ll have to be honest and admit that Bakugan has passed us by. Not because we’re old farts (which we’re not); more likely because Pokemon gives us an adequate fix of otherworldly-creatures-in-a-ball action. Okay, that’s probably drastically oversimplifying the whole Bakugan concept, but certainly for newcomers that’s what it feels like.
There are no prizes for guessing that with a name like Nostalgia, this RPG harks back to the halcyon days when a party of four adventurers turn-based-battled their way through dungeons, earning XP from fights to level up and gain new skills, visiting stores in towns to acquire new kit and… Hold on a minute – nostalgia?
As we stare down the barrel of a fresh new year, our thoughts turn to games. In this most futuristic year of 2010, technology will surely bless us with unparalleled experiences. Well, here’s hoping it does, because 2009 went out on a low with this cack-fest.
Arcade Attack is a fighting game so tedious that we suffered a total neural shutdown about five minutes in.
How would you go about making a classic ‘whodunnit’ mystery novel even better? If your answer is “By turning it into a videogame where your time is divided between furiously tapping the touchscreen to keep the dialogue moving, answering sub-Layton calibre logic puzzles (usually about train times – Poirot gives this kind of thing too much thought) and desperately fighting against an overly-fussy handwriting recognition system,” you answered… incorrectly!
It’s Assassin’s Creed II – but on your DS! Except it isn’t at all, of course. It’s a 2D platformer with fluid controls and some satisfyingly gory death sequences, but like so many of its peers on DS, it attempts to ape its bigger brother version too faithfully, and it ends up looking more out of its depth than a snake in a high-fiving contest
This is a reason to buy a DS for those who don’t have one. And an excuse to find/dust off/unbox the handheld for those who do.
Above: Spirit Tracks finally gives you a reason to find that DS
Just process that for a second. We all know Nintendo’s little machine is shovelware central just now. But Link’s disarming, consistently clever RPG adventure, which is chock-full of ingenious puzzles and bosses so big
In WireWay, you flick Wiley, an ADHD alien blob, skyward by pulling down little black lines and releasing them, just like the string of a bow. This catapults Wiley to the next little black line he needs to grab. Other than that, the game keeps it simple: collect “elam” (little stars), bounce from bumpers, and attempt to reach the end of the maze-like levels in record time.