GAMES: Get yourself in a flap

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This week, The Angry Birds Trilogy takes flight on Xbox 360, Disney’s Planes are also Airborne on Wii U and Payday 2 cashes in on PS3. Meanwhile, Mikey Hooks and Worms 3 swing and slither onto iOS

Angry Birds Trilogy | Wii U | Action | £22.99

So is there anyone on the planet who hasn’t played, or at least heard of, Angry Birds? Not many, it would appear, as millions of people have already downloaded the seminal smartphone title that asks you to fire your host of multi-skilled feathered friends at slimy green pigs. In this cram-packed collection, the birds have migrated onto Nintendo’s Wii U, delivering 19 incredible episodes, each one featuring an exclusive new level for those gamers who think they’ve already bagged all the stars on their phone. Combining Angry Birds, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio, it’s certainly the definitive collection for fans and, while there may be little more to say about a gaming phenomenon that has quite literally catapulted developers Rovio to super-stardom, you can always make time to while away a few more hours playing one of the most addictive titles in recent years.


Disney Planes | Wii U | Action | £29.99

When it comes to new releases, Wii U owners haven’t had too much to shout about recently. A movie tie-in from Disney’s latest animated release is unlikely to fill these gamers with too much hope for an action injection. Yet Planes does manage to dish out a few hours’ airborne amusement, targeted at younger gamers who will be pleading with mum and dad to take them to watch the film on the big screen this summer. Multiple mission types await you, plus the numerous playable characters you choose from. When the story mode is complete you can head out to enjoy free flight too, exploring the game environments at your leisure, or checking out the racing-inspired air rallies. Controls are pretty tight and the varied play options do manage to stop Planes from falling into a tailspin, but there’s very little to send this soaring above and beyond an average experience, leaving Wii U owners still searching for this summer’s must-have hero title.


Payday 2 | PS3 | Action | £22.99

The premise of Payday 2 plays to every action movie fan’s most memorable moment - the perfectly executed bank job. But, despite promising 30 missions of extreme shooter action, it’s immediately disappointing to discover that many of this game’s challenges follow the same structure, resulting in repetition and a feeling of being short-changed. That’s a shame, because at times this title does give you an adrenalin rush from bagging all the booty without being discovered, or winning out in a fire-fight with the cops after you’ve blown your cover. The four-player co-op feature is a pretty unique option, and the addition of detailed skill trees ensure that levelling up can be channelled down the route of your gameplay preference, be it stealth, technology, tactics or brute force. Overall, Payday 2 is a crime spree that’s probably worth taking on, just don’t expect to strike gold when you crack the safe.


Worms 3 | iPhone / iPad | Action | £2.99

Worms have been wriggling around on consoles on desktop computers for nearly two decades. And these heavily armed annelids have gone through gradual evolutions over the years, not to the point where they grow legs and stand upright, but certainly to a position where they can perform admirably on touchscreen devices. Designed from the ground up for that very purpose, the four intrepid worms on each team can now have different skills, with roles divvied up as Soldiers, Scouts, Scientists and Heavies. You choose how to build your team, but a well-balanced approach should serve you well as you get to grips with the arsenal of amazing weapons at your disposal. From rockets and mines to exploding grannies and bouncing sheep, the way you despatch your enemies on the numerous craggy environments is totally up to you. Experimentation will prove to be the key to longevity here, as traditional bazooka blasting works very well but could become tiresome for round after round of battling. Overall, though, it’s another slick action outing for the wrigglers, and worth checking out.


Mikey Hooks | iPhone / iPad | Action | £1.49

How deep Mikey sinks his grappling hook into your gaming psyche will really come down to how much you’re prepared to practice and persevere with each level, searching for the fastest time possible. Our eponymous hero has a hook he can fling onto the sides and ceiling of each side-scrolling, fast-paced level, and you must gain enough momentum to make it to the end goal in as short a space a time as possible. Along the way you’ll need to contend with robots, spiky surfaces, and the expected bottomless pits, all designed to slow your progress. But, when you do nail a nitrous-boosted time, you’ll get that pure rush of gaming excitement and the option to try and beat it straight away - with a ghost of your previous run laid over your next attempt, showing up your minor mistakes. All in all, Mikey Hooks is an excellent solo challenge that oozes delicate and dedicated design, and will pay dividends to gamers prepared to put in the hours.