The Anno series of PC games have long been firm favourites with keyboard strategists. This new release takes the usual city/empire building concept and adds a new twist. Rather than expanding across 17th century Earth, you’ll be charged with leading your people to economic and cultural success 500 years on from then. In this futuristic age demands and threats are completely different. Pollution is now an issue for your city building and trading has come a long way from the logging and mining of older titles. Good looking and highly addictive, Anno 2070 tests you in a way many strategy games don’t. You’ll need to master trade and resource management to survive and if you don’t manage to avoid war (you should try and avoid them!) get used to some pretty punishing combat dynamics.
Grand Theft Auto III (Anniversary Edition)
The Grand Theft Auto series is probably one of the world’s best known. The game as we know it today first came into existence way back in 2001 with the release of seminal free-roaming title GTA 3. Always regarded as something of a classic, it wasn’t a massive surprise that Rockstar decided to re-develop the title for the mobile phone market. So how does a scaled down touch screen GTA III work? Well it’s pretty nifty. Fans will recognise the buildings, vehicles and characters instantly, though the touch screen controls might take a little more getting used to. Combat is especially difficult if you aren’t used to this sort of platform and the character’s movement can sometimes resemble a Saturday night drunkards. Driving is slick enough though and the snappy dialogue, retro tunes and handsome small screen graphics push this above similarly priced titles. Generally speaking there aren’t too many issues with performance if you are using one of the latest handheld devices.
Star Wars: The Old Republic
We’ve had Lord of the Rings online, we’ve had DC Comics online and now we have Star Wars online. Of the three, the early signs are that the Star Wars title is easily the most polished, accessible and exciting. Most people will be logging on for a little lightsaber action and this addiction to glowing swords does make the world feel a little too Jedi saturated for our liking. Still, crammed with Luke Skywalker clones or not there’s no denying the thrill of cutting your way through the nicely crafted storylines. These plots are in fact up there with any in the MMORPG universe and certainly don’t do the Star Wars franchise any harm. While never quite feeling entirely revolutionary, The Old Republic is a lovingly crafted world true to the original source material and is sure to entertain fans of the franchise.