Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli (Rated 3/ 5 )
DS, PS3, PS2, Wii, System 3, £29.99-£49.99
Playing this Ferrari themed love-in is, alas, the closest most of us are ever going to get to racing one of Enzo’s sublime super cars. So given it’s the average gamer’s only shot at vehicular Valhalla, it’s reassuring to see that the game’s developers have re-created a fleet of Ferraris in painstaking detail. This is no whambam arcade racer, though; instead, it’s a pofaced, straight- laced sim that sacrifices thrills for technical accuracy. There are a variety of race types and a slightly geeky Top Trumps style section, but for a game devoted to a car that inspires high passions, it’s a shame that while there’s plenty here to entertain, there’s little that truly amazes.
Pool Party (Rated 3/ 5 )
Wii, SouthPeak, £19.99
While the Wii’s clever remote has revolutionised the way games can be played, it isn’t infallible. It might seem the perfect controller for a spot of pool (or any other of the 13-odd bar games in this title) but in fact the Wiimote is a clunky way to navigate a game that requires skill and an accurate trigger finger. The inelegant controls and a slew of camera angles that seem designed to infuriate rather than illuminate spoil what is otherwise a comprehensive package of well-laidout games.
1942: Joint Strike (Rated 3/ 5 )
PSN/XBLA, Capcom, £6.80
The 25-year-old arcade classic 1942 has been dusted down and gussied up to fly again on XBLA and PSN, for a modest fee. The vertical scrolling shooter of old has been updated with 3-D, highdef visuals and new background music. Choose from one of three planes, each equipped with an arsenal of explosive weapons, then take to the skies. The end-of-level fights are hilariously hard, but at least these days you’re not losing your cash every time you crash and burn.
The Lost Crown: a Ghost-hunting Adventure (Rated 3/ 5 )
PC, Lighthouse, £19.99
Here’s a spooky title with tons of ghost-hunting equipment that reveals that the game’s olde English village setting is awash with the supernatural. There are lots of puzzles to solve and a genuinely engaging storyline. However, there are some head-in hands moments with characters who sound fatally bored, dodgy AI and endless times when you can’t leave certain areas because of unfulfilled – yet unspecified – tasks. How much the shortcomings irk you will depend on how big a fan you are of the genre, as these flaws unfortunately often come with the territory.