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Gaming Review

Mobile review round-up: 'Year Walk', 'Worm Run', more

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Released on Tuesday, Feb 26 2013

Each week, Digital Spy rounds up the biggest mobile gaming releases with reviews and trailers. This week's games include an eerie journey through Swedish folklore, a frantic chase through underground tunnels, a button-mashing brawler and a relaxing puzzle game.

Year Walk
Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Price: £2.49 / $3.99

Set in a small Swedish town bordering the woods, Year Walk is easily one of the most unique adventure games to hit iOS in a long time. Since much of the action takes place while stumbling through the snowy woods at night, there is a tense and occasionally frightening atmosphere to the game.

Year Walk game

© Simogo



The puzzles of are a more abstract variety, as players are best served having a notepad nearby to jot down any runes and symbols they come across in the woods. By the game's end most players will have a page full of scribbles and doodles like a madman, which effectively draws you deeper into the game's exploration of myth and folklore.

Along with the game is the free Year Walk Companion app, which provides context by explaining the myths surrounding the spirits and creatures you will encounter. Those hoping to get the most enjoyment out of Year Walk will definitely appreciate the companion app, which may also hold a few other secrets that can help you navigate the dark forest.

Between its eerie atmosphere, creative puzzles and clever use of an oft-ignored area of folklore, Year Walk is a brilliant game that will stick with you long after the credits roll.


> Download 'Year Walk' from the App Store
> Download the free 'Year Walk Companion' app from the App Store



Worm Run
Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Price: 69p / $0.99

Platformers are difficult to get right on touch screens, as most games attempt to use virtual buttons to simulate a controller. The developers behind Worm Run realize that virtual buttons just don't work as well as they should, and opted for much more suitable controls.

'Worm Run' screenshot

© Golden Ruby Games

'Worm Run' screenshot



Running and jumping through the game's tight corridors is accomplished entirely with swipes, with your miner running and jumping in the direction you swipe and doing so faster the more rapidly you flick on the screen. It works surprisingly well - which is good, because you're going to need all of the maneuverability you can get.

The game has players sprinting through underground tunnels and mineshafts, all the while chased by an enormous worm. Quick and accurate swipes are needed to get you to safety, and become second nature after only a few tries.

The fast swipes also compliment the game's frantic pace, making Worm Run a joy to pick up for a few quick rounds as you race to try and beat your high score.


> Download 'Worm Run' from the App Store


The Gods: Rebellion
Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Price: 69p / $0.99

The Gods: Rebellion is a half-hearted attempt to bring a God of War-style console brawler to iOS, set in ancient China.

In terms of visuals, The Gods nails it, putting the Unreal engine to work and creating a world that looks wonderful on the small mobile screen. The worlds themselves are fairly standard, with ruined temples, underground caverns and rivers of lava filling the standard fantasy tropes, but each still looks impressive even on the iPhone's smaller screen.

'The Gods: Rebellion' screenshot

© Chillingo Ltd

'The Gods: Rebellion' screenshot



For controls, the game crams a punch, axe, block and counter button all into the bottom right corner of the screen. There is actually surprising depth to the combat, with some attacks more effective against different enemy types, but the cluttered layout makes it difficult to appreciate as you stumble over the right button to press.

There are also a small handful of combos to unlock, though with the cramped touchscreen buttons they're often not worth the trouble of pulling them off. More effective are the unlockable magic attacks, which only need players to hold one of the attack buttons to activate.

While it's pretty to look at, The Gods: Rebellion offers an inconvenient control layout and relies too heavily on lengthy arena battles. At moments it shines, but those moments are few and far between.


> Download 'The Gods: Rebellion' from the App Store


Cyto
Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Price: 69p / $0.99

Cyto has players control a blob sharing the same name as its title through close to 80 puzzle challenges, all revolving around Cyto's ability to stretch and fling across the stage. Players can either pull on Cyto to stretch and reach collectable memories scattered around the stage, and let go to send him flying toward the next grapple point.

'Cyto' screenshot

© Chillingo Ltd

'Cyto' screenshot



The levels gradually evolve to introduce new elements - like linking Cyto between two points for a more powerful slingshot - and green grapple points that let him stretch further.

New obstacles come at a pace that feels natural for the difficulty, though the puzzles never get particularly challenging since there are very few options in each level where to fling Cyto next.

The game can become more challenging if you try to collect all three memories in each stage, which sometimes requires an extra stretch, but most can be collected simply by completing a level the simplest way. These memories gradually unlock the game's story, which is cute but forgettable.

Cyto is ultimately yet another physics puzzler for iOS, though inarguably a highly polished one, with puzzles that offer some fun, but feel more like going through the motions.


> Download 'Cyto' from the App Store


What mobile releases have you been playing recently? Add a comment in the space below!

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