This week, Tropico 5’s Penultimate Edition drops onto Xbox One, Trackmania Turbo blasts onto PS4, while Hyrule Warriors dishes out another dose of Zelda on Nintendo 3DS.
Elsewhere, Fish! and Mimpi Dreams provide amusing animal action on smartphone and tablet
GAME OF THE WEEK:
Title: Tropico 5: Penultimate Edition
Platform: Xbox One
Awesome island tycoon antics
Packed with a host of new gameplay features and artwork designed from scratch, Tropico 5 has taken the series in a novel direction - dynasties! You, as El Presidente, must first take control of the infamous island of Tropico during early colonial times and then guide it through the centuries as the world changes and moves ever forward. You must tackle the changing needs of your people, as well as opposing governments and factions, all the while laying the foundations for your own dynasty. Can you survive both World Wars, prosper through the Great Depression, rule as an iron-fisted dictator during the Cold War and advance your country to modern times and beyond? From advanced trading mechanics and technology, to scientific research and island exploration, Tropico 5 is a fabulous tycoon experience that sticks to the series’ well-worn path, but this time around with some excellent add-on packs. Whether you’re forging your own way in the ultra-liberating sandbox mode or tackling the challenges together with pals online, this is an island adventure you can’t refuse.
Title: Trackmania Turbo
Marvellous micro-racing goes BIG on multiplayer mode
Don’t you just love games that lure you in with easy-to-learn gameplay, but then go on to be incredibly tricky to master? Trackmania Turbo does exactly that, with a style that relies on time attack racing in which racers set their own limits and challenges. The gameplay centres on the perfect combination of matchbox car fantasy on a massive scale, focusing on the pursuit of the ultimate run around the track. You can test your skills in the campaign mode, with more than 200 tracks set in four beautiful environments, each with their own gameplay style. Unlocking these is a challenge in itself before you even consider dipping your toe in the online iteration, with up to 100 - yes 100 - ghost car competitors on the same track striving for the perfect lap. It’s gloriously moreish, compelling you to keep playing long after you should have called it a day and gone to sleep. And if you really can’t get any shut-eye after a serious session, just head over to the track creator to build the circuit of your dreams. Awesome stuff.
Title: Hyrule Warriors Legends
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Zelda and co cut a dash on the dual screen
It’s time to cut down entire legions of enemies using some incredible, over-the-top, powerful Dynasty Warriors-style moves. In this portable version of the excellent Wii U title, players can enjoy new story elements and playable characters, plus a host of additional new features, such as the ability to switch between different characters on the fly, allowing you to strategically position characters and defeat foes like never before. Although the game has ported to the small dual-screen, it actually feels like a more complete experience than the original, which is no mean feat for a handheld device against a full-blown console. Combat is crisp and responsive, and the main battling adventure will stretch into dozens of hours, particularly if you’re of a mind to discover all the hidden treasure, weapons and Gold Skulltulas on the map, which unlock even more to do. It’s brilliant battling in the palm of your hand, and the fact it happily rolls around in Zelda lore throughout is the icing on the cake. Well worth a look.
Cast off for a cracking fishing trip
Fishing isn’t the easiest sport to recreate in a digital format - for starters, who’d want to sit staring at their smartphone for hours on end without even a nibble? Fortunately, Fish! swerves the true simulation for an extremely enjoyable arcadey experience - an eagerly anticipated evolution of the popular Flick Fishing. Here, you’re able to cast off into eight impressive looking 3D locations, on the hunt for 30 different species which you can display in your aquarium once caught. A host of competition modes await, including trophy battles and quests that take you around the island in search of rare fish and other hidden treasure. There’s one rare, large fish in each location that, with the right bait, you’ll be able to reel in and bag the rewards for, as you unlock a range of fish charms, rods and reels that all improve your chances of success. And you’re not just fishing against yourself - computer and online multiplayer functionality also come bundled into the app, meaning tall tales of how big your catch was will be verified by your peers! Fish! is a great-looking game and a worthwhile addition to your app collection, whether you’re a fan of fishy critters or not.
Title: Mimpi Dreams
Every dog has its platforming day!
Mimpi Dreams may not present the stiffest of gaming challenges, but if that’s what you’re after, you probably wouldn’t be drawn towards a dog dressed as a pirate anyway! It’s a delightful puzzling platformer that boasts enough graphical and audio charm to hook you in for its all-too-short existence, recreating our dog hero’s dreams on each level. You’ll roam from castles to dungeons to pirate ships, getting to grips with the environment around you to find the solutions to the challenges put before you. This could range from moving clouds to make it rain, to scaring a chicken into getting shot. Such is the quirky style of Mimpi Dreams, it will appeal to all gaming ages and, though the difficulty curve is definitely on the mild side, the solid game mechanics and charming display of the characters and worlds around you will more than make up for that. Around three hours of game time will disappear in a flash, but the fond memories (and maybe even dreams) of Mimpi Dreams will linger for much longer.
WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT?
The world of gaming is going to get more TV airtime following the announcement that Dara O’Briain will be taking hit Edinburgh stage show Go 8 Bit, to the small screen this autumn. The show will be broadcast on TV channel Dave, featuring award-winning video game journalist and stand-up comic Ellie Gibson. Team captains Steve McNeil and Sam Pamphilon will also join the duo to help guide celebrity guests through a series of game-themed contests.
Meanwhile in the charts this week, Tom Clancy’s The Division held onto the number one spot for another seven days, as EA Sports UFC 2 crashed into second place in its first week of release. Pokken Tournament was the only other new entry at three, while Far Cry Primal fell three places from two to five.
GAME CHART ALL FORMATS FULL PRICE
1. Tom Clancy’s The Division
2. EA Sports UFC 2
3. Pokken Tournament
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops III
5. Far Cry Primal
6. FIFA 16
7. Grand Theft Auto V
8. Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare 2
9. LEGO Marvel Avengers
10. Forza Motorsport 6
Leisure software charts compiled by Chart Track, (c) 2015 UKIE Ltd