mini round up: December
As a student, my days were mainly spent in a haze of vodka and procrastination. I did not make a videogame, nor any other similarly productive endeavour. As such, I resent the gaggle of young’uns behind Bounceback (£2.49) for making me look bad. In this whimsically presented cartoon puzzler you’re Lanos, a bouncy ball who’s lost his… bounce. Your goal is to get him back to his home, which happens to be on the Moon. You’ve got a bunch of pals to help you out, such as Trihards (cute robo-things) and Puff the balloon, and you need to combine their talents to navigate the occasionally frustratingly tricky but well-designed levels. Seems not every student’s a layabout, after all.
Another month, another ’80s arcade ‘classic’ resurrected by SNK. Time Soldiers (£1.99) starts you off in the ‘Primitive Age’ – which seems ironically fitting – and lets you blast your way through various time periods to find your comrades, including the likes of ancient Rome and the future. Alas, the latter sadly doesn’t gift you with the magic of PS3-era visuals and gameplay. Still, a girl can hope, right? Compared to the rest of its shooty ilk, this is among the best of the bunch. But that bunch is really getting dull. Although, this did at one point feature triceratopses that were firing at me through their horns. And that does not happen frequently enough in modern games for my liking.
In Feisty Feet (£2.49) you’re competing an ‘extreme running’ contest, which is apparently an actual thing. It probably doesn’t involve running through the snow, leaping from platform to platform and firing snowballs to slow rivals down. (I’m just going to throw this out there, but snowballs are more ‘kids dicking about’ than ‘feisty’.) It’s simple as hell and definitely has potential to get repetitive, but as it started demanding higher and higher finish positions from me, I soon took on a steely-eyed determination worthy of Mario Kart. I imagine the double-jump ability would prove handy in real extreme running, too.
mini of the month: The Indie Bundle
Five pounds does not buy you a lot these days. It won’t even get you 500 penny sweets, for God’s sake. It will, however, stretch to the Indie Bundle (£4.99), which features Canabalt, Galcon Labs, Wizorb, Enigmo and Breakquest. The first three are good enough to have previously received the Mini Of The Month thumbs-up from this very column, while Enigmo is a pleasing water-manipulation puzzler and Breakquest is a thing of block-smashing compulsion. It’s a whole lot of one-more-go for your fiver, and that sort of value is certainly nothing to be sniffed at. Just be prepared to forgo food, rest and social interaction for a few days. You didn’t really need them, though, did you?