July Mobile Marathon: First Ten Days Roundup

Ten days into July and I feel like I’ve done enough work to last a lifetime. Playing games is tough work and writing about them, well, spare some sympathy. Here’s what’s gone down so far:

The jamboree of gruelling madness kicked off with Rage HD, well and proper getting off on the wrong foot. id Software’s on rails shooter certainly has it going on in the looks department, but that doesn’t count for much when your iThing is plastered with vomit.

Things only got worse when I opted to take a look at how Super Monkey Ball fared on the iPhone. As the biggest fan of Gamecube Super Monkey Ball 2 in the world this bastardised version fallaciously pilfering its glorious name and parading around in the light of its infinite grandeur made me sick in my mouth, although that might have just been an after effect of playing Rage.

Unpleasant Horse fared similarly, although in hindsight I was perhaps a touch harsh on 4th and Battery’s game about killing horses, I’ve since played Robot Unicorn Attack – what am I missing with this? Awful.

In between that cacophony of cack I played the really quite good Eggs in Space – a game I compared to whack-a-mole (as endorsements go, that’s golden) and the valiant yet middling Rock Band Reloaded. RBR did a decent job of proving you didn’t need buttons or a plastic instrument to rock out to Bodies by Drowning Pool on the bus – but having one or the other certainly helps.

(Note: I’m completely disregarding the actual order of games here but things flow better this way.)

But after that the clouds truly parted with Zookeeper DX Touch Edition proving animal cruelty can be fun as long as you dress it up in pretty colours and incorporate nose-candy-esque mechanics. Tower Defense: Lost Earth stole my life for two days and proved to be my favourite TD since Defense Grid and thus far the best game I’ve put proverbial pen to proverbial paper about. Shame the American’s can’t spell defence. Had to dock points for that.

Gravity Guy‘s bombastic approach to thieving mechanics paid off, it’s the unwanted child of VVVVVV and Canabalt but really rather good for it and it has the best multiplayer component of the games I’ve played.

I played geoDefense when I first got my iPod but had given up somewhere around the end of the second campaign. Going back to it, my skills hadn’t improved. This game is still bastard hard.

Having spent most of the week reviewing games heralding from like, seven years ago, I got with the times and played a game a mere two months old – Black Moon’s wonderful Evil Robot. It stars an Evil Robot who makes a mess of the screen by hurling boxes down willy nilly. It’s your job to tidy up after the despicable metallic menace while avoiding being thwacked by falling crates. And rescue your girlfriend, but that’s ancillary. Tower Defense aside, this is my favouritest game to have featured in the marathon so far.

Where does this rickety ship sail to next? Well over the last couple of days I’ve been indulging in Osmos, more tower defence in the form of Fieldrunners, the Snake-like Hard Lines (but don’t let that put you off), the hilarious Karoshi, Groundhog Day: the Game (aka Infinity Blade), Robotek HD, Solipskier and Siege Hero which is like Angry Birds, if Angry Birds had been made by game developers. So expect to see those and I may pay some credence to my swanky new WP7 phone, but Microsoft’s pricing model for that is laughable. I can buy Evil Robot, Osmo, League of Evil, Tower Defense: LE and Hard Lines for the price of a shoddy port of Pac Man: CEDX. I want some of what Microsoft are smoking.

On with the next ten days!

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