Games Central: Inside a deliciously dark indy adventure
This week, Xbox One gamers go Inside, PS4 owners debate who they're gonna call as the new Ghostbusters are let loose, and Disney Art Academy pulls out the virtual pens on Nintendo 3DS.
Elsewhere Tiki Taka World Soccer and Super Stickman Golf 3 continue the summer of sport on smartphone and tablet
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Platform: Xbox One
ASIN: N/A - Xbox Game Store download
A deliciously dark indy adventure
We’ve waited six years for the sequel to the incredibly stylish, dark and satisfying Limbo, and Inside delivers in every way. This 2.5D adventure presents a thought-provoking world for gamers to explore, as the lead character is dropped into a forest, on the run from mysterious band of “enemies”. You’ll soon find your way into a strange facility where human experiments are taking place, and from there the incredibly immersive storyline takes hold and whisks you away into a gaming experience that will live with you for a long, long time. Whilst the gameplay itself is simple, the puzzles require quick reflexes, timing and a fair amount of brain power to progress. The pace at which events unfold will keep you hungry to forge on, and perhaps the only downside to Inside is that it’s a little on the short side at just four or five hours in total. But remember quality always trumps quantity, and this atmospheric adventure has everything you could want from a game - tension, surprise, high production values and graphical polish, slick controls and that final feeling when the end credits roll that you want to play it all over again immediately. A must-buy.
A ghoulish game that makes the movie look good
It’ll be no surprise to you to hear that with every big mainstream movie release comes a movie tie-in gaming title. The all-female Ghostbusters film reboot has struggled to scrape together many positive reviews, so there’s a bit of pressure on the game to bring a degree of respectability to this entertainment franchise. As a third-person action role-playing game, taking place after the events of the film, you’ll command a squad of rookie ghostbusters through Manhattan’s most haunted environments, discovering hidden collectibles and ridding the city of rogue spirits. You have four heroes to choose from, each of whom can be upgraded with new gear and abilities throughout the adventure. The differentiation that this brings to each hero is difficult to distinguish, as is the storyline itself - disappointing on both counts. While the cartoony graphical style is engaging and the repetitive audio somehow doesn’t grate that heavily, it’s the AI of your computer-controlled colleagues that will really get on your wick. They’re woeful, providing limited assistance throughout and actually hampering your progress if they get caught up in the environment if you run ahead. Overall, Ghostbusters doesn’t present a ringing endorsement of movie tie-in titles, which have improved in recent years. Perhaps this film and its off-shoots should have been left in its more fondly-remembered past.
Title: Disney Art Academy
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Mickey and his mates make an artistic impression on young gamers
Calling all budding artists and Disney fans! Here on the Nintendo 3DS is your chance to amaze friends and family by learning to draw more than 80 Disney and Pixar characters in 2D. Through a series of easy-to-follow lessons, characters like Mickey Mouse, Nemo, Elsa, Buzz Lightyear and Simba can come to life on your dual screen, applying a number of techniques from the nine art tools available - including pastels, paintbrushes or markers. Each lesson’s step-by-step progression provides rich rewards for younger gamers, as what starts as a series of lines and shapes gradually evolves into a familiar face! Progress can be easily saved to continue from the same spot at a later time, while you can even add some extra flair with the magic brush, a new addition to the Art Academy series, that layers stars, bubbles, and glitter effects to your masterpieces - all with a swish of the stylus. A great creative educational tool that’ll no doubt keep the kids quiet on those long summer holiday car journeys!
Title: Tiki Taka World Soccer
A festival of football to rival Ronaldo and co.
So Portugal are apparently Europe’s best footballing nation. Not having it? Well, here’s a gaming opportunity to set the record - and Ronaldo - straight by leading your own favourite nation to football glory in the very latest international tournaments. Tiki Taka takes a side-scrolling perspective on the beautiful game, with a visual style that harks back to the glorious top-down action gamers of a certain age used to enjoy with Sensible Soccer. In the absence of official licensing, national teams are littered with wonderfully cheeky twists on the real names of today’s football superstars, as the likes of T. Muller and J. Hendersen feature in the German and English squads. Control-wise, subtle flicks and swipes across the touchscreen will have you oozing liquid football before you know it and, with no in-app purchases to halt your progress, the stiff challenge before you opens up, ready to swallow you for days on end. It’s awesome arcade football action on the small screen - just enough to get you through the summer until the domestic season begins again!
Title: Super Stickman Golf 3
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
A hole in one at the third time of asking!
The Super Stickman Golf has brought a brilliant reimagining of the classic sport to mobile devices in recent years, relying on simplistic game mechanics and crazy-golf-like course environments to challenge your geometry and physics-puzzling skills. This third iteration is probably the best of the bunch, not least because it doesn’t cost a penny to download, but still offers an abundance of free content before you even consider the premium upgrade that unlocks all immediate and future course updates. All of the five tours feature a pandora’s box of weird and wonderful obstacles to overcome in the fewest shots possible, while a host of character costumes, power-ups and special ball effects ensure that you can tailor the experience to your own particular play style. SSG3 has that perfect blend of tactical depth alongside instant accessibility, delivering an awesome sporting arcade experience that any self-respecting stick swinger should be downloading right now!
WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT?
Pokemon Go is the mobile game that has had tongues wagging this week, and it sounds like UK gamers won’t have too much longer to wait to play it themselves, following the title’s launch in the US and Australia/New Zealand recently. A wider roll-out had been paused as developer Niantic struggled to keep up with server demands, such was the popularity of the augmented reality smartphone app. Pokemon Go allows you to hunt down Pokemon creatures in the real world via geo-located hotspots and has already made the headlines for a number of bizarre reasons, as one player unwittingly discovered a dead body in a river whilst hunting, while others have injured themselves focusing less on their physical surroundings and more on the virtual animals they’re chasing on the screen in front of them...
Meanwhile, in the charts this week, LEGO Star Wars secured top spot for another seven days, as Overwatch and Doom each shuffled up a space to two and three respectively. It was a very quiet week for new entries, allowing titles such as Ratchet & Clank and Call of Duty: Black Ops III to reclaim positions the top ten, at eight and ten.
GAME CHART ALL FORMATS FULL PRICE
1. LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens
4. FIFA 16
5. Rocket League
6. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
7. Grand Theft Auto V
8. Ratchet & Clank
9. Tom Clancy’s The Division
10. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (c) 2016 UKIE Ltd