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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mobile Phone Games Roundup

It’s quite impressive to see that 10 years ago the pinnacle of mobile (cell) phone gaming was the ever so humble ‘Snake’, a title that bear similar looks to the simplest of Gameboy games and played equally as impressive. Oh how times have changed, as we have been seeing for some time now phones capable of surpassing even the prettiest of Super NES games, with some showing truly stunning results.

Lumines: Puzzle Fusion

Lumines quickly rose to fame on the PSP as being one of the most solid, well crafted puzzle games of recent memory and evolved to become a shining star in a sea of Tetris remakes and clones. The premise is simple, a 2x2 square block with two colours in random configuration are dropped into a level playing field, where a scan line will stream across the screen at quick, regular intervals wiping out any one colour that occupies a space of 4 squares or more and is wiped out increasing the total game score. The more blocks of the same colour that you can add on to what’s in the playing field, the higher your combo and the greater the points reward. Simply running out of space to place blocks on the screen or running out of time and the game is over. There aren’t too many variables in place to complicate things, but with the small set of rules in place it can definitely create some intense moments, where forward thinking and a cool collect will see you score some massive points in a relatively short amount of time.

But just like the PSP version, there is more than the simple instant play mode. There is also arcade, challenge, vs CPU, Single Skin, Time Attack, Puzzle and Shuffle modes on hand. Combined with multiple difficulty levels there certainly isn’t a small variety of modes to go through. Puzzle mode is the biggest stand out, where we have to recreate the shape given on screen with one colour of the blocks and given an incredibly short time limit, so bring a towel to dab at your sweaty brows.

Guess what happens when you eat too much Wizz Fizz

There was always more to Lumines than simple puzzle mechanics, its visual and audio design is one of brilliance and originality. The thumping techno beat and frequent background changing which is in tune with how tense things get do more than simply serve as an aesthetic purpose, they give the action such a unique feel, one that you don’t get when playing rival puzzlers. And although the mobile version has been able to replicate the visuals to being frightfully similar to that of its bigger brothers in the form of the PSP and Xbox LIVE editions, the audio seems to suffer with tracks being too simple, at times distracting and overall lacking the great feel that the other versions delivered, so it may be best to turn it off and run your own music tracks in the background.

Save for the music aspect, Lumines for the mobile is an incredible edition to anyone’s phone and is truly a great version of the puzzling masterpiece.

Visuals/Audio – 92
Gameplay – 95
Overall – 94

The best puzzler of our time squeezed into our mobiles. Brilliant.

Zombie Infection

God bless George A. Romero and his penchant for making zombies cool over and over again. Thanks to his visionary work, we may now enjoy such wonderful zombie slaying goodness in the form of Resident Evil, Left 4 Dead, Dead Rising and now for mobile freaks, Zombie Infection, the mobile equivalent of a shoot em up, action survival horror, with emphasis on the action and good news for touch screen gamers, as Gameloft have supported this gaming control type with quality results.

Taking charge of a policing team, we play as an individual who finds himself right in the midst of the zombie apocalypse and is quickly separated from his team. No real points for originality here, but placing us in familiar territory gives us the opportunity to jump in at any time and start wailing on the undead. Controls are very simple, either use the D-Pad to move around or simply touch in front of our protagonist to get him moving. When a zombie comes into sight, a targeting reticule will scan up and down the target effectively maximizing how we want to kill it. Head shots are made easy using this scheme and when used with the shotgun and en masse enemies, it makes for intense yet easy to stay in control fire fights. Speaking of shotguns, in order to come into contact with one we must first purchase it through upgrade stations throughout the game world, where we can also save our game. A godsend if we want to get through the whole game through multiple sittings as it is definitely significant length to it.

“You killed the Zombie Flanders.” “He was a zombie?”

It just isn’t zombie slaying without spectacular gore and Zombie Infection manages to spill it in galleons moments into taking control. Head shots see blood spray into each and every direction and with dozens of zombies attacking in some scenes it quickly divulges into a blood bath with brilliant results. To give it all the more impact the sharp sprites, well lit environment and intricate detail creates an atmosphere quite fitting of a zombie game.

To really make the most of this game having a touch screen with plenty of screen retail space is a necessity. Playing on a small screen is quite difficult, and without having the quick touch ability to quickly use items on the run without having to run through menus can break the flow of the game somewhat. Running with a touch screen however does have its draw backs; in that a poorly calibrated screen and chubby fingers will hamper the experience with hits not registering and since thumbs aren’t translucent it is a bit hard to see what is going on, especially with keeping up the quick pace. These are only small caveats, but playing this thing on a nice big touch screen really makes up for the partial awkwardness.

Overall Zombie infection is a must have mobile game for all zombie fans out there; it’s the age old B-Grade schlock with A grade production values.

Visuals/Audio – 90
Gameplay – 89
Overall – 90

Schlocky goodness in mobile form.

Spider-Man: Toxic City

Ever since 3D gaming became commercially viable Spider Man has enjoyed countless open world action platforming, with magnificent results culminating from the union of Treyarch and Rockstar, but before our friendly neighborhood super hero could swing through the breeze with ease, he was relegated to side scrolling beat em’ ups and the results are less than flattering, with Maximum Carnage from the SNES being his best outing, as simple a title as it was. Spidey now makes a return, thanks to mobile gaming gurus Gameloft, to revisit his old video game stomping grounds with a fresh take on the side scrolling genre, except things have changed quite a bit since the 90’s.

The biggest problem with the old side scrollers were that for a simple concept, walk sideways and beat whoever comes into your path they never really challenged the player beyond not including a block button. One attack combo, one special combo that drained health and the ability to swing across the tiny playing field and it always felt a bit half arsed. Toxic City manages to improve greatly upon the schlep that was Maximum Carnage, with Spidey being quick and nimble to move around, his swinging attack is no longer useless and frustrating to pull off, and although attacks are relegated to single button mashing, what shows on the screen is a flurry of combos that will no longer be the same 4 hit combo over and over again, rather a screen filling flip out of the biggest order with strikes, kicks and flips being all that a Spider Man can. It all looks very flashy, very hyperactive and very satisfying, even though it is only button mashing.

You’d think by now some guy will get smart and use RAID bug repellent on Spidey

What really separates Toxic City from his predecessors is how visually gorgeous it is. Sporting some very crisp backdrops, incredibly detailed character models, very fluid animations and above all spectacular coloring, Toxic City is one very impressive game to look at, which is a major plus, considering the main story mode will net you more than a few hours to completion, and a whole heap more when chasing those elusive achievements and hidden comics. Just don’t expect to be able to play through this in one quick on the bus to work.

The biggest caveat however are loading times, as it can be a good minute or so from the time the game is started to when you are able to start laying the smack down, even after skipping all the intro movies, but when you do get control, look out, as Toxic City is definitely a highlight of mobile gaming, even with a template that has been done to death a decade before its time.

Visuals/Audio – 95
Gameplay – 90
Overall – 90

Plays well, looks phenomenal and will last you hours. Just make sure you got a big screen to get the most of it.

All games tested on the LG KU990 Viewty.

Premium Member
4,160 Posts
Nice review Snicko, nice idea. I have the Viewty myself and I think I will give Spider-Man: Toxic City a shot. I find the touch screen really annoying to play on, there is also not a large range of 3D games, if you know of any worth playing, review away.

Awesome stuff Snicko.

Ya'ver drink Brazilian bold from fkn dunkn donuts!
11,526 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks emmy, I should include this in the review, but with toxic city it requires the use of a dpad, and buttons (2 and 5) to attack and jump although the viewty has a dpad on the touch screen and the ability to attack using the OK button, there is no key binding to number 2 and as such jumping is a bit of a chore (having to switch to NAV to see the 2 button). I haven't been able to get around this little obstacle as of yet, but the game is still mighty playable and very enjoyable, even though it is configured to run with a traditional tactile number pad.
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