The free to play, but pay to expand, model is something mainstream gamers are going to have to get used to as publishers look for mass uptake by putting out their game gratis, before attempting to claw back development costs by selling extras.
In GRO’s case those extras include everything from new guns and ammo types, to headgear as Ubisoft tries to tempt you to part with your cash in return for the possibility of better results (though the patient can generate the same currency in-game by putting in the hours). Alas, what the shooter really needs to complement a solid foundation of fast and furious shooting and interesting specialist equipment are more incentives for team play and a greater variety of missions. So meaning, that though entertaining enough in short bursts, GRO lacks the cohesiveness and depth that a game judged solely on the merits of its multiplayer experience must have – at least for now.
Developer: Ubisoft Singapore
In the aftermath of the hugely popular Angry Birds physics-based puzzle games have hardly been a rarity on iPad. Seldom however has a title been released which features the subtlety seen in Gasketball, as life-like physics is combined with basketball as the player is challenged to shoot baskets across stages harbouring all sorts of obstacles, gravity defying devices and traps. The fact that it’s your own finger swipe which determines power and trajectory makes those ‘swish’ shots all the sweeter in a game which stands out within its genre through sheer originality.
When bad guys break into Wario’s house, steal his treasure and flood his basement they perhaps weren’t counting on Wario being even badder than them as he goes about unceremoniously disposing of them in a bid to reclaim his true love: his loot. Wario Land 2 is of course a re-release of a GameBoy Color classic, which features all the precision platforming of a Mario adventure while being injected with extra ‘oomph’ through Wario’s physicality – why stomp on an enemy when you can shoulder barge them into oblivion? It’s perfect formula of exploration, imagination and sheer fun making this Nintnedo eShop-only release something of a must.
Format: 3DS via eShop
Brain training is quickly becoming as much of a staple as body training amid the millions of health conscious, tablet owning people the world over. Einstein Brain Trainer doesn’t offer anything overly different from the rest of the mental training software already out there, offering the usual mixture of memory tests, quick-fire maths rounds, spatial awareness tests and more in a bid to buff up your prefrontal cortex. Daily rankings and the chance to compare scores with friends locally and online should keep you at it, while detailed whys and wherefores of each excerise will provide an eduction too.
Format: iPhone, iPad
Developer: BBG Entertainment
Publisher: BBG Entertainment