3 cert, Nin­tendo, 3DS There are foot­ball man­ager sims that ap­peal to a par­tic­u­lar type of player, the se­ri­ous games that al­low you to choose team tac­tics, deliver talks that Mour­inho and Fergie would be proud of, wran­gle over the best play­ers, and steer your team to ever grow­ing heights in your cho­sen league. Then there’s Nin­tendo Pocket Foot­ball Club.

It’s far less com­plex and ar­guably more fun than some of the foot­ball man­ager sims out there. Its more ca­sual ap­proach may not win it any fans among die-hard sim devo­tees, but it’s a more ac­ces­si­ble way of get­ting into the genre than some of the more daunt­ing ti­tles.

You have full con­trol over your dimu­ni­tive play­ers, but there isn’t the same level of de­tail that other man­ager sims have. The graph­ics are also less com­plex. The 3DS screen de­mands it. Your tiny team are styled in a more retro fash­ion – 2D play­ers, a 3D pitch. That just adds to the over­all charm; the game isn’t try­ing to be some­thing it’s not.

One frus­trat­ing thing, ap­par­ently in­ten­tional, is that you can’t skip through the matches. They last for sev­eral min­utes, so there’s a bit of a wait. How­ever, it also forces you to see the re­sults of your de­ci­sions played out in front of you. You can make a few changes once the match has started if things aren’t shap­ing up quite how you’d like. The re­sults are vis­i­ble on the pitch.

Train­ing cards earned dur­ing the game can be used to ad­vance your play­ers’ skills, boost­ing the team and push­ing them higher up the ta­ble.

Over­all, it’s a more light­hearted ap­proach to the genre, one that can be picked up and put down eas­ily.


16 cert, Namco Bandai, PS3 Ev­ery teenager thinks they’re des­tined for great­ness, but few could com­pete with Ranko Tsukigime, high school girl by day and as­sas­sin by night. In­ter­cut­ting the ac­tion with long an­i­mated scenes, Short Peace: Ranko Tsukigime’s Long­est Day has more to of­fer than a point­lessly long ti­tle. For a start, it boasts anime from pro­ducer Ka­tushrio Otomo (Akira) in be­tween bouts of 2D gam­ing. The game plays like Sonic Meets Strider; in other words, near-per­pet­ual mo­tion 2D run­ning and plat­form­ing with zippy com­bat. De­feat the on­com­ing en­e­mies, but don’t stop mov­ing or you’ll be en­veloped by mys­te­ri­ous, malev­o­lent killers. It’s barmy, lively, colourful, dizzy­ingly fast and very chal­leng­ing. SP: RTLD is also ec­cen­tric and very Ja­panese, al­most to the point of par­ody. The game­play is a lit­tle one-note, but its en­ergy and weird­ness are en­dear­ing. bandainam­cogames.


4 cert, Gree Inc, iOS Pac-Man had me in its grip from an early age. I lost end­less hours try­ing to gob­ble pac-dots while run­ning from Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde. Pac-Man Mon­sters is a dif­fer­ent beast al­to­gether, bear­ing only a pass­ing re­sem­blance to the orig­i­nal game. Mon­sters, ghosts and Pac-Man are all work­ing to­gether, but not all the time – the ghosts oc­ca­sion­ally ap­pear on the game board as some­thing to be eaten. You eat pel­lets to at­tack en­e­mies, but only cer­tain coloured ones, or its back­fires on you. The more pel­lets you eat, the stronger your at­tacks are. There are hit points to watch and en­emy at­tacks to dodge, and it’s all done on a turnby-turn ba­sis. There is in-game cur­rency, trea­sure chests, gold pel­lets, eggs, and ranks to climb. In short, fans of the Pac-Man clas­sic will prob­a­bly re­coil in hor­ror. It’s far too com­pli­cated, es­pe­cially when com­pared with the sim­plic­ity of the orig­i­nal. Not one of Pac-Man’s bet­ter out­ings.


4 cert, Dayana Net­works Ltd, iPhone (also iPad, iPod Touch) There’s some­thing aw­fully old fash­ioned, even Mad Men- es­que, about au­dio memos and notes. And yet Dic­ta­phone apps abound, and aren’t just used by mu­si­cians and jour­nal­ists. Voice Record Pro en­cour­ages other uses be­yond mu­sic and note-tak­ing: you can add text to record­ings, make du­pli­cates and even add pho­tos. So this de­vice is of use to cre­ative, nos­tal­gic types. The other trim­mings are more func­tional: record­ings have a list of but­tons with which you can email them and save them on Google Drive, Drop­Box, SoundCloud or more. If you’re us­ing it for mu­sic, you can edit, trim, con­vert to mp3, ap­pend it to an­other record­ing; or, if you’re feel­ing in­dul­gent and/or con­fi­dent, upload it to YouTube or Face­book. This app has been around a while, but has some nice new up­dates, such as a loop func­tion and uni­ver­sal upload to any web-based script – though I still wish it could record phone calls. Voice Record Pro is free, al­beit with some low-key ads.

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