This week, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants in Manhattan spin onto PS4, Dungeons 2 creaks open on the same system and Overwatch takes team-based shooters into a brave new world on Xbox One.
Elsewhere, Mr Crab 2 and Alice In Wonderland: Puzzle Golf Adventures scuttle and swing on smartphone and tablet
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Title: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutants In Manhattan
A turt-ally amazing action romp
The heroes in a half-shell are back, coinciding nicely with this month’s film release in a narratively unrelated third-person action game that puts you in control of all four of New York’s crime-fighting turtles. You must protect The Big Apple from aliens, mutants and the fearsome Foot Clan in either a single-player campaign or partnered with up to three friends in fantastic four-player online co-operative play. But be prepared - defeating Bebop, Rocksteady, Shredder and other iconic bosses won’t be easy. The open-world action is super fast-paced, and the team-based brawling challenges gamers to draw upon each turtles distinctive combat play styles to create some of the craziest fighting combos you’ll have seen in some time. Gorgeous, cel-shaded art design acts as the perfect comic book-style backdrop for the original storyline, which delivers wave after wave of quirky turtle quips to keep you smiling while the enemies keep rolling in. It may not be the deepest of games, but the combat mechanics have been brilliantly balanced alongside impressive world traversal techniques using the environment around you, and anyone with just a smidgen of love for the reptilian quartet should snap this up now.
Title: Dungeons 2
Excellent strategic evil minion management
The Dungeon Lord is back - and this time he’s serious! In Dungeons 2, you must fulfil his insatiable quest for vengeance by recruiting fearsome new monsters from all corners of the underworld in order to undertake his evil bidding. This entails crafting a network of unique and terrifying dungeons, defending your Kingdom against those pesky human heroes, while also venturing above ground to wage war on their cities. Merging tactical real-time strategy with simulation, Dungeons 2 delivers an extensive single player story mode, plus a number of competitive multiplayer modes to further test your crypt-creating skills. There’s also an exclusive bundle of additional content, boasting new maps, opponents and approximately 30 hours of content, so there’s no chance of this dungeon challenge running dry too soon. What it does lack - a little - is the feeling of innovation that the first title had in spades. It almost plays it too safe. But, for gamers looking for plenty of tongue-in-cheek pop culture references, a dark sense of humour and the desire to control and unleash demonic dastardly tricks on unsuspecting humans, it’ll be right up your dark, dank, trap-ridden street.
Platform: Xbox One
Genre: First Person Shooter
A perfectly aimed shot in the arm for team-based shooters
Let’s face it, the gaming world will always need new heroes, and this first-person shooter delivers them in spades. Set in a technologically advanced, highly stylised future earth in a time of global crisis, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities known as Overwatch has come together to restore peace to a war-torn world. Here, the emphasis is on accessibility and pure fun, bringing developer Blizzard’s signature easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay to the shooter genre. You’ll have to harness the power of your hero of choice, joining forces in teams of six to battle with each other across a range of futuristic locations, from the hologram-lit streets of London to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid. Each battlefield is iconic and built to highlight characters’ unique abilities, allowing fights to shift from streets to rooftops to open skies from one moment to the next. It’s breathless stuff, deserving of any shooter fan’s attention, meshing vibrant on-screen mayhem with a slick set of social mechanics and combat connections between characters that will keep the online masses coming back for more, and more.
Title: Mr Crab 2
Price: Free (with in-app purchases)
A sensational sideways scuttling sequel
Mr. Crab 2 is a swirling, twirling colourful conundrum, the likes of which you won’t have seen before on your smartphone. Thanks to some of the finest 3D graphics you’ll see on your smartphone, you’re instantly sucked into a world where all that matters is your ascent to the peak of dozens of vertically-designed levels, or the end of a series of new side-scrolling challenges. Along the way, you’ll need to collect baby crab colleagues and stars, as well as dispense with all manner of animal opponents. It’s one-touch action at its finest, with jumping all you need to worry about. But timing is key, and any mis-timed jumps will send you tumbling down to try again. Thankfully, this sequel includes some more sympathetic checkpoints, increasing the level of early engagement and prompting you to really go for it on the more serious stages. It really is stunning, and the first dozen levels come for free before the payment mechanics kick in. There’s also a vending machine to pillage, which might unlock levels or simply spit out some new kit for your crab to wear. All in all, this is a marked upgrade from the original - and it is absolutely stunning - but you may need to stump up some cash to get the full experience.
Title: Alice In Wonderland: Puzzle Golf Adventures
Alice scores a roll in one
Mini-golf is an underrated genre on iOS, and Alice In Wonderland does a great job of enticing a new crowd of putting enthusiasts to get involved. A couple of things to set expectations. Firstly, there’s no ball - it’s Alice. Tap her, pull back in the opposite direction to which you want her to travel, let go and watch her roll! She is both the central character and the central object that must reach the key on each level to unlock the next. Secondly, this is nothing to do with the latest film offering. It’s bright, colourful and cute, rather than dark and brooding which, to be honest, is a relief. Here, it’s not about the movie hype, more about the engaging gameplay that may seem simple to roll Alice from A to B, but if you’re looking to collect all the extras along the way you’re going to need to pack your thinking cap before heading out on the course. For £2.29 you’ll enjoy several dozen holes with changing environments, play tactics and mandatory modes - time challenge, stroke limit etc. Overall, it’s a cracking little casual golf game, with numerous lovely nods to Lewis Carroll’s cracking characters.
WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT?
It’s about a month before No Man’s Sky is dropped into the hands of unsuspecting PS4 gamers, and it’s probably about time a couple of stats were put out there to prepare you for the feast of space exploration that awaits. The game features more than 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 (18 quintillion) possible planets to explore, in a procedurally generated galaxy that genuinely ensures you’ll be able to to explore worlds that no other player has ever visited before. To put that into context, 99.9% of the game will more than likely never be discovered by players. Now that takes open-world gaming to an all-new level...
Meanwhile, in the charts this week, Uncharted 4 kept a firm grip on top spot, as did Doom to second position. Homefront: The Revolution was the highest new entry at three, while Fire Emblem Fates and Valkyria Chronicles Remastered debuted strongly at five and six.
GAME CHART ALL FORMATS FULL PRICE
1. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End
3. Homefront: The Revolution
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
5. Fire Emblem Fates: Birthright
6. Valkyria Chronicles Remastered
7. Tom Clancy’s The Division
8. Grand Theft Auto V
9. LEGO Marvel Avengers
10. FIFA 16
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (c) 2016 UKIE Ltd