Mini round up 30/4/12

stickman PS3 miniStick Man Rescue, £2.49

I don’t usually have a problem with violence in videogames, but I’ll make an exception for this because it’s not nearly violent enough. There are gazillions of Stick Man games out there – some good, some bad, all gratuitously blood-soaked. When I play one I want to see gore, I want to see limbs flying around and I want, if at all possible, unidentifiable organs. This is a reasonable enough caper: fly around in your helicopter, rescue imperiled Stick Men and get back to base in time for tea and crumpets. It’s fine, it’s fun – but with a little more imagination in the animation department, it could have been a classic. Won’t somebody think of the children? 6/10


Prehistoric Isle PS3 MiniPrehistoric Isle (£1.99)

Gargh! My eyes! Playing Prehistoric Isle is an experience akin to being trapped inside a washing machine and left in the centre of the dancefloor of a provincial nightclub on donk night. Like most coin-ops from the late 1980s, it’s less of a game and more of a vindictive assault on the senses. It’s pretty hard to pilot a biplane across a jungle island untouched by time when every pixel of the screen is crammed full of dinosaur-related paraphernalia, fizzing and popping like metal in a microwave. I daresay that some of you are probably skilful enough to prosper here, but if you don’t mind, I’ll just have a bit of a nap in a dark room, ta. 5/10


POW: Prisoners Of War PS3 miniPOW: Prisoners Of War (£1.99)

The nostalgia continues with this a scrolling beat-’em-up from 1988. An altogether more sedate affair, it’s one of those clunky efforts where henchman conveniently attack you one by one, or in pairs, rather than jumping on you en masse and killing you within the first ten seconds. As with all of these games – Double Dragon, Renegade et al – it really comes into its own when you get your hands on a good, solid throwing knife. After a while, of course, no amount of military hardware makes up for the feeling that you’re stuck on the world’s most aggressive conveyor belt, but this is how we lived in the ’80s. Think yourselves lucky, young’uns. 6/10


Mini of the month: Mecho Wars PS3 mini Mecho Wars (£3.99)

I’ve never quite got my head around the way the Japanese make strategy games. I like a strategy game to be po-faced and stern, forcing me to grow a beard just so that I have something to stroke thoughtfully while I make decisions. The Japanese prefer to style them as children’s cartoons, with cutesy dialogue and a boppity-bop soundtrack. Nevertheless, when they’re as intuitive as Mecho Wars, an absorbing, turn-based battle of the Landians against the Winged Crusade (or some such nonsense) it’s hard not to smile. Sure, it hasn’t got pages of true-to-life weapon specs, but there’s a satisfying phwooomf noise when you fire a cannon, and that’ll do for me. 7/10