I rarely get much time to play games (Sunday afternoons usually), but three recent releases have impressed me:
- 42 All-Time Classics for the Nintendo DS. Almost every card game and board game you can think of, with instructions for each game built into the cartridge, and almost every game multiplayer enabled over Wifi. Microsoft would charge 400 points (£3.40) for almost any of these games over Xbox Live, yet I bought this cartridge with 42 games for £16.99 including delivery. I hope Sony are taking notes, as products like this and the DS Lite, make far more sense for portable gaming than the PSP and most of its games
- Test Drive Unlimited on the Xbox 360. The graphics are good, but not amazing, and handling is OK, but nothing more. However, the scale and atmosphere of this game is stunning. A massive island with almost every road, populated with lots of challenges and other players online, who are available to race against. Birds and airliners fly overhead, and if it wasn’t for the lack of pedestrians, you could almost be there. In one way, it’s like the driving parts of Grand Theft Auto done properly, but it’s also the nearest thing I’ve ever come across to The Cannonball Run in a game. One challenge involves driving a 124.3 mile circuit of the island in 60 minutes. Doing that in a Ferrari Enzo, on single carriage roads populated with other traffic, is what I call entertainment
- Defcon. It took 23 years, but at last, someone has produced a game that does justice to the film WarGames. Simple learn, beautiful to look at, and only £10. An absolute bargain. Do you want to play Chess (see 42 All-Time Classics), or would you rather play Global Thermonuclear War?