Gaming reviews: The Wonderful 101; Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time; Worms: Clan Wars

 

The Wonderful 101

£39.99

Wii U

Nintendo

***

There are natural comparisons to be drawn with former Nintendo release Pikmin 3 as both require stewardship of numerous characters, but the two Wii U games take a very different approach. The Wonderful 101 throws you in at the deep end to guide your many intrepid and aggressive heroes in order to stop an alien invasion – and offers little help along the way.

One stand-out element of the game is that it flips to and from the GamePad smoothly, setting a precedent for other Wii U games to make better creative use of the addition. Gameplay can be a little fiddly and chaotic at points as you combine heroes as "Unite Morphs" to attack, but the comic-book aesthetics within a fast-paced, action-packed adventure really means this bold release packs a punch.

Laura Davis

Plants vs. Zombies 2: It's About Time

Free

iOS, Android

PopCap Games

*****

This long-awaited follow-up to its predecessor follows the same premise, as it's your duty to keep the garden safe from frustratingly persistent zombies. A time-travel element has been added in this free release, but there are plenty of extra quirks, including new and innovative zombie-destroying plants, and more resilient adversaries to keep away. Some star levels are tricky, but it's the quick strategic thinking that makes the game so utterly addictive. The number of stars also directly corresponds to the number of Tube stops I missed while playing.

LD

Worms: Clan Wars

£18.99

PC

Team17

****

The Worms series is nearly two decades old, and for all the refinements it's seen over time, it remains a game of picking trajectories, gauging windspeeds and launching banana-shaped bombs at your mates. Clan Wars comes with much-needed increased multiplayer functionality, meaning it's easier to get a match against a human wherever they are in the world, which is really the whole point of the game. Of course, not even that beats having friends huddled round a monitor cheering lucky hits with a cluster bomb – or a well-placed baseball bat.

Tom Mendelsohn

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