Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Price: £1.99 / $2.99
There has perhaps never been a more appropriately named game than Ridiculous Fishing.
The game starts by casting your lure, and tilting your device to avoid all of the fish as the line sinks in the sea. Yes, you want to avoid fish in a fishing game, but there is a good reason for that.
Once you hook one, or reach the end of the line, the lure starts reeling back in and you can trap and catch as many fish as you can on the way up. The more you avoid on the way down, the more you can catch in reverse.
Once they reach the top, it's time for your fisherman to toss them all in the air and pull out his gun to blast them all to pieces with the tap of a finger.
Catching fish, except for evil jellyfish, will earn you cash, which you can spend on longer lines, better guns and lures, or other unconventional fishing equipment.
The first lure you unlock is a chainsaw, which lets you tap to plough through fish on the way down, and the upgrades only get stranger from there.
Each of the four fishing locations has its own fish and behaviours, with the fourth location offering a bottomless ocean for leaderboard competition.
Without a freemium structure the upgrades are priced appropriately as you progress, and the tilt and touch controls are some of the most accurate seen on iOS.
Combine spot-on controls with dozens of fish to discover and a wonderful sense of humour, and it would be ridiculous not to download Ridiculous Fishing.
> Download 'Ridiculous Fishing' from the App Store
Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Price: £1.49 / $1.99
Le Vamp takes a new spin on the endless runner formula as players help a miniature vampire escape from a mob of angry torch- and pitchfork-wielding villagers.
Rather than controlling the vampire himself, you have to interact with the world around him to keep ahead of the townsfolk.
You can swipe to chop down trees to act as bridges, yank enemies out of the ground, and tap on beams of sunlight poking through the trees to protect the little vampire as he runs through the forest.
The vampire will also constantly lose blood as he runs, so you will have to refill his supply by flicking blood pigs in his direction.
Blood pigs will appear both on the path and in the background, so you'll have to pay close attention to keep Le Vamp well fed.
Between the pig flicking and various obstacle interactions, there is a lot to take in, and the game will get pretty hectic as it speeds up. Eventually though you fall into a rhythm of swiping and tapping that feels quite natural.
It helps that Le Vamp looks great, with enemies and obstacles that stand out for easy spotting while still fitting into a charming art style that fits somewhere between papercraft and claymation.
Le Vamp feels fresh in a sea of iOS endless runner games, making it well worth a look.
> Download 'Le Vamp' from the App Store
Metal Slug X
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Android
Price: £2.49 / $3.99
In the world of side-scrolling action games, the Metal Slug series stands out for its intense action, creative levels, diverse weapons and fantastic art and animation.
Metal Slug X, itself an enhanced version of the arcade Metal Slug 2, brings some of that to the mobile version, but it's a messy transition.
The biggest problem is the obvious one: that an arcade game like this requires absolute precision from its controls, and the virtual buttons on a touchscreen just can't replicate it.
One boss, for example, requires you to jump and shoot while aiming down, while also moving left or right in midair.
It's a manoeuvre that was already hard to pull off with an actual joystick, and it is just laughable how poorly it fits on a touchscreen.
It doesn't help that the virtual buttons cover up a good portion of the screen, sometimes causing your fingers to block enemies that are shooting at you. Other times the frame rate slows to a crawl, at least on an iPhone 4S.
Metal Slug X's one saving grace is that it offers infinite continues, so when the controls inevitably kill you it's easy to pick up where you left off.
It's also still an undeniably good game, and despite awful controls players can still have fun with it. But really, until a developer figures out a better way of adapting the controls to a touchscreen, this version of Metal Slug X should be avoided.
> Download 'Metal Slug X' from the App Store
> Download 'Metal Slug X' from the Google Play store
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Android
When the Angry Birds makers at Rovio were given the game licence for The Croods it could have easily been a simple re-skinning of their own physics-based puzzle game.
Instead, Rovio has decided to give the upcoming DreamWorks movie its own treatment, with a prehistoric city-building game.
Your job is to make a viable settlement for the film's family, which includes trapping, domesticating, and cultivating various prehistoric creatures.
It starts small, as you capture a molarbear that turns berries into carrots. Those carrots then get fed to other creatures to make new resources, and eventually you will have an assembly line of turning resources into other resources by way of animal pets.
Since each animal requires a resource from another animal, progressing through the game can be slow and tedious.
To get just one of a higher-level resource could mean going through three or more animals, each taking between 1 and 25 minutes to produce something the next animal can use.
That's just to get one resource, and the game's goals will regularly ask for 20 of them. The result is a game of resource management where you feel woefully unprepared by no fault of your own.
There is an interesting idea in the interdependent resources of The Croods, but the actual goals are seemingly laid out in the hope that the younger target audience will grow impatient and spend money on microtransactions to actually make some progress.
Whether the game is just poorly thought out or a cynical cash-grab to prey on children and their parents' wallets is debatable, but either way The Croods demands far too much time for too little reward to be worth a download.
> Download 'The Croods' from the App Store
> Download 'The Croods' from the Google Play store
What mobile releases have you been playing recently? Add a comment in the space below!