This week, Syberia’s Complete Collection hots up on PS3, Trove takes MMORPG action to the next level on PC and The Sims 4 throws us a bouncing bundle to get to grips with on PC and Mac. Elsewhere, Cognito and Prune put your cerebral capabilities to the test on iPhone and iPad.
Game Of The Week
Syberia Complete Collection
An awesome adventure series welcomed in from the cold…
The Syberia series represents a real gem that has stood the test of time, despite all the hype that surrounds the next-gen gaming newbies of 2015. Yes, you can still offer up an engaging, emotive experience, despite being over a decade old. Syberia is a pure adventure game, where you’ll discover a magical world of automatons and meet some amazing characters.
Add in the fact that Syberia 2 is also included in the bundle, and you have a rip-roaring bundle third-person adventuring joy on your hands here.
Kate Walker may not be in the same league as the likes of Lara Croft when it comes to gaming heroines, and Syberia holds back on a combat heavy take on proceedings, favouring a logic-puzzle driven approach. But the charm of the unique storytelling, backed up by brilliant graphics that still bust some moves prove that this really is a hidden gem, worthy of uncovering if you never saw it sparkling all those years ago.
PC, Free (with in-game purchases)
A victory for voxelated adventuring
Minecraft put the original boom into online building blocks, and now Trove has landed to lure in today’s cube-crazy (or voxelated) masses for an all-new massively multiplayer online RPG. It’s an open-ended adventure where you’ll journey through an endless dynamically generated universe packed to the rafters with quests, chests, and dungeons that hold enemies great and small.
While most of the challenges are totally achievable as a single player, there’s no doubt that the real fun will unfold with pals in this weird and wonderful world, which is fuelled by gamers’ imaginations and a loose connection to the often-restrictive pay-walls that get you some serious progress. Trove is a brilliant world to begin building in, and even the most dedicated Minecrafters would be advised to take a peek on the other side of the voxel fence.
The Sims 4 – Bundle Pack 1
Get a sizzling summer sorted for your Sims!
Such is the rich world that The Sims have been prospering in from recent releases, perhaps the only place left to go for the franchise in The Sims 4 was into their heads. But now we’ve had a while to make sense of the staggering range of emotions that influence the decisions you take in the game, it’s time to get hold of some more STUFF! These bundle packs offer a new game pack and two stuff packs in each collection, the first of which gives your Sims the chance to head off for a Spa Day, while the stuff comes in the shape of Perfect Patio and Luxury Party gear. Hot tubs, cook-out grills and chocolate fountains are complemented by the usual dazzling array of adventure-appropriate Sims outfits and other accessories and, as per usual, the AI is brilliant, alongside some brilliant graphical presentation. This certainly feels like a hefty, expansive addition for a series that continues to delight those desperate to live in a virtual world – what could possibly be coming in Bundle 2?
iPhone/iPad, Free (with in-app purchases)
Brain training, secret agent-style, Cognito delivers a daily dose of puzzle inspiration to give your brain a quick work-out. This may feel like nothing new, but the connectivity now afforded on newer iOS devices means that you can bring scores into line with other health activities, comparing these brain training scores to physical steps and sleep to try and assess what really makes you tick. The puzzles themselves are an interesting and varied mix of logic, reasoning, word-play and memory challenges, played out through a secret agent storyline that unfolds across the globe.
Growing towards gaming greatness Prune is a game that will absorb and astound you.
It’s one of those rarities that has the courage to step off the well-trodden path, in this case exploring the possibilities in meditative multimedia. The premise is relatively straightforward, albeit delivered with next-to-no instructions and only a couple of visual prompts. But that’s fine, as Prune is all about discovery.
In the early levels, planting seeds and dragging out the tree that shoots from the same spot is a gloriously engrossing experience. You must direct further growth into the streams of light that will allow your tree to blossom enough to qualify you to move onto the next level. As the game progresses, and landscapes change, you’ll realise there’s a bigger message at the heart of Prune, and a moving conclusion stands it apart from pretty much anything else on the App Store right now.
WHAT’S HOT AND WHAT’S NOT?
The votes are in and… Candy Crush has been voted as the UK’s favourite game, following a YouGov survey of more than 2,000 Brits. The colour-matching mobile sensation scooped just under a quarter of the vote from female gamers, compared to 3.4 per cent from men.
Overall, the game secured 11.3 per cent of the vote, beating off competition from Grand Theft Auto, FIFA, Civilization and The Sims.
Meanwhile, in the charts this week, Rory McIlroy’s PGA Tour held onto the number one position for another seven days, as LEGO Jurassic World climbed two places from four to two. FIFA 15 sneaked back into the chart at ten, as did Minecraft’s Xbox and PlayStation Editions, at seven and eight respectively.
GAME CHART ALL FORMATS FULL PRICE
1. Rory McIlroy PGA Tour
2. LEGO Jurassic World
3. Batman: Arkham Knight
4. F1 2015
5. Grand Theft Auto V
6. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
7. Minecraft: Xbox Edition
8. Minecraft: PlayStation Edition
9. The Elder Scrolls: Online
10. FIFA 15