Mobile Gaming Roundup #9

Platforms: Android

The sun is finally breaking through the clouds and it’s fine weather to relax in the park or even your back garden, so here are some more marvellous mobile amusements to take with you on your journey to the outside world!

Mr Crab (iOS)

We got no troubles, life is the bubbles, under the sea.

Sometimes in this world of games you find an endearing character you can’t help but love. So it was with the buck-toothed bowlered crustacean known as Mr Crab. A clever twist on the endless runner/climber genre from Illusion Labs, our clawed gentleman protagonist must spirally ascend each level which revolves around a central column, collecting items and rescuing what is presumed to be his crabby offspring. Colliding with a wall forces a change in direction which must sometimes be taken advantage of in order to reach a higher platform. Certain platforms drop upon passing so a fall to the bottom can be avoided, although colliding with an enemy will also cause you to falter.

That's one stylish arachnid.

Themed levels are grouped in threes, culminating in battles with comically alliterative bosses (witness Blowfish Bob and Fernando Feathers) to gain their respective dashing hats, which you can then sport on your carapace at a jaunty angle on the next round. Looking a treat, with a sunny calypso-style soundtrack and stacks of replayable levels, Mr Crab might just be your new favourite decapod. Sorry Dr Zoidberg.

Candy Crush Saga (iOS, Android)

Once you pop, you can't stop.

This writer might get some stick for recommending what seems to be an apparently derivative exercise in marketing and money-grabbing, but you have to give some credit for adding a touch of polish and innovation to the match-3 rigmarole. Wonderfully presented and with a rolling fairground soundtrack, Candy Crush Saga adds a few unique gameplay elements and while always gently reminding you of the opportunity to purchase game simplifying boosters, never forces you. Likewise if you lose a bunch of lives in one sitting you have to wait for (or buy) more, but this serves as a useful enforced break from the addicting gameplay.

Playing this game takes allsorts.

There are multiple game modes, from clearing all the jelly from the grid by matching inside of it to guiding an allotted number of nut and cherry pieces to fall through unimpeded. Without using the boosters, the later stages of the game require a large chunk of good fortune, but you will know the most base satisfaction known to man when you spot that winning combo, for just as Peggle trained the reward centre of our brain to go nuts at the sound of fireworks and the climactic closing bars of Ode To Joy, so you will load this up time and again to hear the moustachioed ringmaster declare your move to be ‘sweet’ or ‘delicious’. Worth a try for even the hardest cynic.

Beat The Melody (iOS)

Best do as the guitar monster says.

A distraction of a slightly educational bent, but don't run away! Developed in association with the Wroclaw Academy Of Music, this app invites you to memorise and repeat well-known classical music phrases, some of which you might not know by name but will readily identify upon hearing. There's no piano keyboard as such, all that is required for a successful match is for the player to identify whether the next pitch is higher, lower or the same as the current note. If you don't have a musical ear this might not be your game, but it starts out very basic and the complexity increases at a steady and fair rate.

Hope you're taking notes.

The default playback instrument is the piano, but others like guitar and vibraphone can be purchased in the shop, as well as hints usable in-game if you get hung up on a certain tune. With a colourful interface and six hundred tunes to get through, this is a great game to play if you are interested in learning an instrument, brushing up on your classics, or just want to keep your ear trained.

Robot Unicorn Attack 2 (iOS)

My lovely horse.

We featured the original Robot Unicorn Attack in a special on Adult Swim games, but it's been rebooted in a spectacular and fabulous way. The basic gameplay of freely galloping and jumping across the plains, with your metallic mane flowing in the breeze remains the same, but the graphics have had a major overhaul and the game now includes Jetpack Joyride-style levelling up through achievements.

I'm on fire. No really.

Also, you can customise your beloved metal equine pal with radiant livery and even more synthpop tunes are available as in-game purchases. Sure it's more of the same, but a unicorn's run is never done and it's free, so why wouldn't you? Always I wanna beeeeee with you, and make belieeeeeeve with you, and live in harmony harmony oooooh love...

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