| 17.6°C Dublin

Get your kicks with an old friend

Tekken 7 (PS4/XO) ★★★★ Age: 16+


Tekken 7

Tekken 7

Tekken 7

Arriving so soon after the superbly entertaining fighter Injustice 2, veteran franchise Tekken risks an unflattering comparison.

But Tekken didn't get to its seventh (er, ninth, strictly speaking) instalment without some tricks up its sleeve and can boast an impressive cast of new and returning fight stars. Few have the brand recognition of Injustice's DC Comics roster, which includes the likes of Batman. Yet they make for a pleasingly diverse bunch with an intimidatingly deep arsenal of moves matched to weighty combat.

That obviously poses a problem in itself because Tekken 7 offers few concessions to the uninitiated. You're thrown in at the deep end and asked to master characters with up to 100 attacks. Button-mashing will get you only so far and even Tekken's signature trouble-dodging side-step is no panacea.

Clearly with one eye on the esports market, Tekken 7 offers a big twist in the form of a rage mode, a powerful series of moves that deals heavy damage. Triggered automatically when one player's health falls low, it's evidently intended to generate late and dramatic comebacks. But it also gives newbies a fighting chance against more skilled players.

For all its playability, T7 is let down by the overall package, especially if you don't fancy the bear pit of online multiplayer. A poor single-player mode and a pointless PS4 VR option are compensated for only partly by an Aladdin's cave of character customisation.

Monument Valley 2

(iOS) ★★★★★ Age+ 3+

Even if you don't know the name Escher, you'll be familiar with the Dutch artist's "impossible architecture", in which figures walk endlessly on staircases that play tricks with perspective.

As a theme, it was exploited in games a decade ago with the beautiful Echochrome on PS3 but hit the mainstream in 2014's Monument Valley, which featured in an episode of House of Cards and famously made $14m for its small team.

Monument 2 rewires the formula with a twist. Instead of one character navigating its gorgeous but logic-defying landscapes, you must now also contend with a child who needs to be shepherded through the abstract worlds.

Nonetheless, the gameplay remains fundamentally unchanged: a delightfully tactile puzzler where you rotate and align paths to guide the duo to the exit. Sometimes up is down and down is up but what's consistent is the delightful art and serene pacing of a game that is short but leaves an indelible image.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required