The mobile version of Injustice 2 certainly looks like a super human effort to reproduce the full force of NetherRelm’s DC console fighter. It’s a fine looking game, one that’s been stuffed full of options and polished with some of the same silver screen sheen that’s become de rigueur for the comic book cartel currently monopolising the multiplexes. There’s more inventively over-stretched Lycra here than at an OAPs Zumba class.
A beefy campaign and the beginnings of an appealing convoluted story mode are flanked by challenges, resource missions and operations. All of these help to unlock improved gear and new fighters that flesh out a deep roster of DC characters. There’s even an online battle arena for PvP clashes.
While the presentation is impressive, however, the actual combat is slightly weak due to the usual limitations and let downs associated with touchscreen controls. This is a 3-on-3 fighting game, and although switching between characters mid-battle and performing cinematic special and super moves are handled smoothly by single touch mechanics, the jabbing and swiping on the screen necessary to perform standard attacks isn’t as responsive as it needs to be. Oh, and the block button works about as reliably as Superman at a Kryptonite convention.
It’s all fine for a quick slugfest, but it lacks the finesse and fine detail of the choreographed combat you get in the movies and the full console releases. This is more closing time scuffle in a pub car park with Batman and Bane swinging wildly at each other as Robin throws up in a bush.
ZipZap is yet another of those simply maddening puzzle games that seem to have found their natural home on touch devices. It’s a minimalist Meccano manipulation affair that one minute will have you cooing over its charmingly clever design, and the next screaming as you run up and down the central isle of a bus with your pants pulled over your head at the sheer mental agony it’s causing you.
Each level occupies a single screen on which you need to tap for just the right amount of time at just the right moments to tense, flex, swing and spring squeaking pieces of the metallic building material so they come to rest in, or knock a small ball into, a tiny target area.
It’s an incredibly prepossessing concept from the creative brain of Philipp Stollenmayer who previously brought you Squaredance and Sometimes You Die. Each of the challenges is a fantabulous contraption, a reductionist Rube Goldberg machine which is inherently enjoyable simply to encounter and play around with for a few minutes.
The problem with ZipZap, is that the game is perhaps too faithful to the famous modelling kit it’s based on. As with actual Meccano, the greatest amount of entertainment and skill comes in the conception and construction of the ingenious structures. As all that’s already been done here, what’s left for the player is the somewhat less intriguing job of firstly trying to assess how each level works and then attempting to pull off the physics-based trick shot it requires.
While the former demands a bit of experimentation and lateral thinking, the latter often depends on little more than a big slice of blind luck, not least because the finicky success criterial matched with the blunt controls make some stages mind-blowingly frustrating. At least the game sorts levels into groups allowing you to leave ones you’re stuck on and try others in the same set.
Recently, the steady increase in the number of places legalising the sale of marijuana means that the illicit thrill of running your own cannabis production outfit has somewhat diminished. These days, owning a successful weed growing operation is more likely to secure you a business enterprise award than 15 to 20 years in prison.
Still, this hasn’t deterred rap star and entre-pot-neur, Wiz Khalifa, who has taken over a prime vacant lot in da hood, turned it into a gange production plant and left you in charge.
Wiz Khalifa’s Weed Farm, is an enjoyable idle clicker with the emphasis, appropriately for the subject matter, firmly on the idle part of that definition. You choose which plants to grow in which positions, tapping to collect in money. As your crops grow, you’ll quickly be able to automate production, water your buds to increase their value and open up extra spots for more valuable varieties.
After a bit of initial work, it doesn’t take much effort to get the game to play itself with you occasionally calling by to do a bit of housekeeping and, when the moment is right, harvest your crop for a massive profit which you can then put towards more potent strains with brilliant names like Acapulco Gold and California Kush.
The urban art style is completely in keeping with the mood and Wiz does pop in occasionally to congratulate you on your cultivation skills every time you level up. It’s laid back fun for a short amount of time. Just be sure to know when to quit to ensure you go out on a high.
Injustice 2 (Warner Bros., Free, with In-App purchases)
ZipZap (Philipp Stollenmayer, £1.99)
Wiz Khalifa’s Weed Farm (Metamoki Inc., Free, with In-App purchases)