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Download of the Week: Two-for-one tactical squad-shooting splendor with Frozen Synapse

Platform:PC/Mac| Publisher:Mode 7 Games| Developer:Mode 7 Games|Price:£12/$20| Size: 220Mb

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Disappointed by the near-total lack of tactical squad-based strategy-shooters these days? Don't worry, it's a problem that plagues us all. Oh yes, we're getting X-Com and Syndicate back soon, but one of those has definitely gone the FPS route and the other, well, let's just say we're worried that it's currently undergoing overly-sanitised ball removal surgery. No, what we need is something fresh, new, fast and brutal. Something manly and intelligent, which rewards tight thinking and cajones with swift victory, and faint-hearted errors only with rapid, bloody death. We need one with a badass soundtrack, and that looks a bit like Tron. Basically, we need Frozen Synapse.

In beta for a painfully long amount of time, but now fully released at downloadable retail, Frozen Synapse is a stunning modern rework of old-school values. Turn-based but lightning fast, deeply tactical, but streamlined and simple to understand, it's a brutally tense and utterly pure multiplayer experience. But then again,the single-player campaign is as varied, innovative and inventive as you could want. Both side's tactics are planned and executed simultaneously as you survey and try to pre-empt your enemy's movements in every situation. It's pure wits and free-flowing improvisation all the way. Oh, and you can play multiple online games at the same time, like a round of speed-chess, which is unbelievably badass.

And you get two copies of the game for the price-tag, so that you can send one to a friend and get cracking with multiplayer straight away. Which is just unbelievably generous, and more than a bit clever. And you get the Mac version bundled in to boot. Oh, and a quick note. That price-tag is currently £15.19 from Steam, but if you buy the gamedirect from the developerit comes in at $19.99, which translates to about £12. Just sayin'...

Want more DLC?Check these out...

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time|PC| £6.02
One of the best and most charming 3D platformers ever. If youhaven't played it yet, Steam's current Ubisoft sale means you can get it mega-cheap. Also, there's a £33.49 collection containing all five modern PoP games.

Call ofJuarez: Bound in Blood|PC| £6.69
It's no Red Dead, but the western FPS from Techland (makers of the upcoming Dead Island) is stil a solid and fun slice of bandit-blasting. At the week-long Ubisoft sale currently makes it cheaper than a ghost-town hooker.

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May 27, 2011

Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.