Toy Soldiers: Cold War X360
Every little boy spent countless hours setting up intricately detailed wars between plastic figures. Sure, you have to supply your own sound effects and engage your imagination in high gear but the payback is limitless fun.
TS:CW taps into that vibe with an elaborate twist on the tower-defence genre. It mixes the playfulness of the Toy Story movie with the relentless action of advancing forces attacking your base.
Unlike the austere World War I setting of the first Toy Soldiers game, Cold War isn't afraid to get cheeky in this new era, giving a Rambo-like character a cameo role to help blast the invading Ruskies back into their foxholes.
Like the original, the basic premise remains a strategic game of building gun emplacements to repel attacks. But it has been reinforced with many new tactics and extra weaponry (battery-powered helicopters, aerial barrages, etc).
Nicely diverse locations (Egypt and Paris among others) and a stack of extra game modes help temper the fleeting nature of campaign mode. For a cheap download, TS:CW packs a lot of firepower.
Rugby World Cup 2011
IF only rugby's big shindig had been taking place in 2012. Perhaps then the makers of the video game tie-in would have had time to finish fleshing out the package. Perhaps we're being too harsh to judge RWC2011 by the megabucks standards of, say, FIFA 11.
At a basic level, it's all there -- allowing you to compete with one of 20 national teams for the Webb Ellis Cup in a knockabout approximation of the game played by men with oddly shaped balls.
But you never feel fully in control, with both team and opponent AI a bit suspect.
Then there's the lack of player likenesses (without even stalwarts such as O'Gara) and in some nations not even the real player names. Factor in the paucity of extra modes beyond the World Cup itself and RCW2011 stamps itself strictly a rental-only.
ONCE upon a time, the Sinclair Spectrum hosted a beautiful strategy game called The Sentinel. You had to manoeuvre your character around a mountainous landscape while avoiding the gaze of the lookout on high -- find your way to the top and you could move to the next level.
CapitaHD shamelessly rips off the idea on the iPad without fully recreating its charm. Still, 10,000 levels and a brilliant concept can't be ignored.