LEM­MINGS TOUCH

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FUN & GAMES - JOE GRIF­FIN CIARA O’BRIEN CIARA O’BRIEN

3 cert, Sony, PS Vita Back in 1991 Lem­mings wad­dled onto the Amiga and be­came an in­stant clas­sic of its genre – a real-time strat­egy game with a dash of God sim­u­la­tion. Once again, your job is to pro­tect the inept ro­dents from them­selves. On each level you’re given time to ex­am­ine the set­ting (an­cient Egypt, an alien planet or some­thing else) and eval­u­ate its dan­gers. Then the lem­mings come pour­ing in from the sky, stub­bornly, re­lent­lessly walk­ing to their doom. You must as­sign skills to some lem­mings, which they’ll carry out mind­lessly – bridge build­ing, block­ing paths, us­ing um­brel­las as para­chutes – and lead them to safety. The touch screen works well on the Vita (though it was made for some­one with fin­gers dain­tier than mine). You can pinch to zoom; tap the lem­mings to as­sign the task; and speed up their move­ment to see it through at your own pace; a chal­leng­ing, cute and grat­i­fy­ing game. plays­ta­tion.com

TWO DOTS

4 cert, Beta­works, iOS The ad­dic­tiveTwo Dots is built on a sim­ple premise: clear the dots, meet the goals and progress to the next level. Of course, it’s not that sim­ple. You have a limited num­ber of moves and some­times a seem­ingly im­pos­si­ble goal to hit. You have to join a min­i­mum of two dots of the same colour to clear them, and only in hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal lines, no di­ag­o­nals al­lowed. It gets pro­gres­sively more dif­fi­cult as you work your way through the lev­els, which leaves you try­ing to work around ob­sta­cles on the board, an­chors that “drop” and awk­wardly shaped boards that make it dif­fi­cult to clear dots. Cre­at­ing a closed square of the same colour will clear ev­ery dot of that colour on the board, in a sin­gle move. Cre­at­ing bombs out of dots will also help clear your way. Ev­ery time you fail to clear a level you lose a life, and you only get five – un­less you want to pay, so use them wisely. Lives re­plen­ish over time. Beau­ti­fully de­signed and as ad­dic­tive as Candy Crush.

SILENT TEXT 2

4 cert, Silent Cir­cle, iOS Just be­cause you’re para­noid doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you. If you’e been feel­ing a slight bit of para­noia about the se­cu­rity of your text mes­sages and just who can ac­cess them, take a look at Silent Cir­cle’s lat­est app. Silent Text 2 al­lows you to send and re­ceive en­crypted texts and files from other Silent Cir­cle users. You can set a length of time on how long texts can be read for and, if you need to, re­call mes­sages and al­ter them be­fore a user has read them. It’s not aimed at your typ­i­cal IM user. The app it­self is free, but you have to pay for a Silent Cir­cle sub­scrip­tion.That runs about $10 per month or $100 a year, which may be a lit­tle too rich for some when there are so many free mes­sag­ing ser­vices avail­able. But that sub­scrip­tion will also in­clude ac­cess to en­crypted phone app Silent Phone. And af­ter all, what price do you put on your pri­vacy?

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