Saturday, 27 November 2010

Game of the Week: TRON: Evolution (DS & PSP)

TRON IS BACK! The cult classic from the 1980's has been given a new twist for modern audiences in the form of TRON: Legacy, which is set to debut in UK cinemas on the 26th of December this year. In addition to this, a new videogame called TRON: Evolution was released earlier this week.

TRON: Evolution is set during the era between the two TRON films.  It has been developed by Propaganda Games and Disney Interactive Studios.  The game has an independent storyline, which will help to bridge the gap between the main plots in both films and help fans old and  new to familiarise themselves with TRON mythology.
 Tron: Evolution is set seven years after the events of the first film. In the game, the original paradise of Kevin Flynn's world (the hero in the 1982 TRON film), is fast-becoming the dystopian police-state that will be portrayed in the new movie.
Gamers play as 'Anon', an impressive AI system monitor created by Kevin Flynn. Anon must investigate the mysterious emergence of new corrupt ISOs (a race of programs that are not created by humans but are entirely self-created) and the rise of the malevolent Abraxas virus. Anon's main function is to destroy Abraxas.
TRON Evolution is a third person Action-Adventure game. It mixes enemy battles with fast-paced racing action.There are three basic attacks which can be used against enemies: melee, light disc and special disc, which can be strung together into interesting combos.
Each attack's success varies depending on Anon's movements within the game. For example, sprinting whilst using the attack discs means that attacks will be weaker upon impact but they will be faster to implement, while a defensive stance will increase the power and range of your special disc moves, and also replaces your normal jump moves with a very helpful 'rolling dodge'.
Much of the game is spent jumping over chasms and avoiding obstacles around the dystopic landscape, which has some strong platformer elements in it.

The racing sections involve high-speed chases against enemy bikers. Players must expertly avoid falling objects which will attempt to block their path, as well as deadly luminous 'gates' which seem to descend out of nowhere, but which spell instant death to the game's main character when touched.

 the DS and PSP versions of the game also feature a Grid Games Championship section, where players compete in arena matches or in races. Grid games also feature local multiplayer with iconic TRON vehicles, such as light cycles and light tanks in both competitive and co-operative modes such as capture the flag and last man standing. PSP owners can also download bonus content from the PSN store.

This game is actually very enjoyable for a movie tie-in and will appeal to action gamers and platformer fans alike. It is also an interesting introduction into the TRON universe. Overall rating 8/10.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Game Of The Week: EyePet (PSP)

The ultimate virtual pet is here. EyePet finally came to the PSP handheld console yesterday. Mini Gamers first reported that Eyepet was coming to the PSP in June earlier this year, but despite its original early Spring release date, the virtual little critter was unable to make his handheld debut until mid-November. Nevertheless, it seems that this game was really worth the wait!

The game makes clever use of the PSP's camera attachment. Players can use the GO!Cam  along with the Eyepet 'Magic Card', which is included in the game. The result is amazing. Want to see your Eyepet sitting on your desk or kitchen table? This game actually makes it possible and gives Eyepet a greater realism than any other virtual pet game currently on the market.

However, the game also contains many other interactive functions which helps to engage the player into this virtual world. For example, Eyepet contains several mini games including Fishing, Gardening, Treasure Hunting, Trampolining and Bowling, amongst others. Each mini game contains different challenges, which can be unlocked as the player progresses. The mini games are usually timed and get gradually harder each level.

Bowling is perhaps the easiest game to complete. Use your Eyepet as a bowling ball (not recommended for real pets, kids!) and knock down the row of pins that appear on your chosen 'Magic Card' surface. More and more pins appear each level and they change position from the previous level so that it gets harder each time. A successful amount of Strikes can unlock new customisable items for your Eyepet.

Fishing is probably the hardest mini game. You and your Eyepet must team-up to catch as many fish as you can within two minutes. However, only fish which appear on the itinerary will count towards your final score. This makes it very difficult to complete the task within the allotted time, however, with a bit of practise it can be achieved eventually. The Fishing mini game also includes a Free Mode which allows you to fish without a time limit. Any fish which are caught in this mode are automatically added to the aquarium in your Pet Home.

The Pet Home is where players can take care of their Eyepet's basic needs including feeding, washing and sleeping. It is also where players can style their Eyepet and even change its fur colour or style if they wish. Players can keep up to four Eyepets, so changing their fur length and colour can create some interesting variations between the different pets.

The Pet Home can also store photos of your EyePet and is the space where new car and boat toys can be created. Draw an image of a car or boat on a plain piece of paper and Eyepet will convert it into a 3D car, complete with a range of customisable style options.

The only potential negatives about Eyepet concern the 'Magic card' and the loading screens. This game is understandably very intricate and detailed. As a result, Eyepet features some lengthy loading screens, which might test the patience of  younger gamers.

Furthermore, the game's Magic Card has to be centred on the screen exactly at all times while out of the Pet house otherwise your little Eyepet will end up floating in a bubble in front of you and won't be able to complete any of the mini games etc.

It sounds easy, but Mini Gamers found that the Magic Card needed to adjusted several times before our Eyepet could be clearly seen. Lighting can also affect how well the Magic Card performs as well. If it is too dark or too light in the room then your card will not function correctly. Nevertheless, the positives of this unique game totally outweigh any negatives tenfold.

Eyepet on PSP really does have to be seen to be believed. This is the most innovative game to reach the PSP in a very long time. It is also a great game for all the family. If you have always wanted a pet, or  if the kids have put a pet on the top of their christmas lists but  you can't be bothered with unsightly messes, daily feeds or huge vet bills, then Eyepet on PSP is a viable alternative. Overall rating: 10/10.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (DS)


Everyone's favourite wizard, Harry Potter, will return both to the Big Screen and our handheld consoles in his seventh and final magical adventure tomorrow. So, what can fans really expect from the Nintendo DS version of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1?

 The Nintendo DS version of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 is a a puzzle-based game. It is also the first game in the series that takes the characters outside the relative safety of Hogwarts.  The characters must embark on a dangerous journey, which means that players will now be introduced to a whole host of new environments from city streets to new wizarding locations, which each contain different enemies to fight (including Death Eaters, Snatchers and Dementors), new challenges to uncover and quests to complete.

In the game the player will be able to control one of the three characters Harry, Ron and Hermione in a brilliant 3D top-down view. Each character has special abilities to move the player through the game. These abilities will affect how the game progresses and will make the outcome of the game easier or more difficult depending on which abilities the character posseses.

For example, Harry always casts very powerful spells, whilst Ron can use Decoy Detonators as a distraction technique against the Death Eaters, and he also has the magical Deluminator gadget (used by Professor Dumbledore in the first film,) which removes all visible light from a given area.

Ron's abilities do not work effectively in head-to-head combat however, but they can provide a useful commotion which will in turn disorientate most enemies. Hermione can slow enemies down with the spell Arresto Momento. The different abilities do help to create varied gameplay and greatly adds to the game's replay value.

Potions and potion-making also make a welcome return in this game. New potions included in this game are: Wiggenweld Potion, Herbicide and Exploding Potion. Each potion takes the form of a mini game in which the player must find all the ingredients and then brew the potion against a time limit.  For help with completing Harry Potter Potions, please click HERE.

Many of the Spells from the Harry Potter Universe can also be found in  the Nintendo DS version including Stupefy, Protego, Wingardium Leviosa, Expecto Patronum and Incendio. Furthermore, the game also includes some multi-shot capabilities and cascading jinxes which are extremely useful for defeating multiple enemies.

Other magical items will help the characters to move stealthy past enemies. Harry's Invisibility Cloak is very useful in this game, whilst the Polyjuice Potion and Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder can also help Harry and his friends to avoid detection and sneak past their adversaries.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 does have a two-player multiplayer mode, so players can now battle against their friends using Wi-Fi connectivity. Players can choose to be either a Dementor or Harry Potter and must engage in a magical duel. The winner is the player with the highest score.

Official DS Preview Trailer

This game is graphically stunning and  has really tried to make up for the disappointment of the last Harry Potter handheld game, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which featured very short and repetitive gameplay throughout.

The storyline of Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (AKA Harry Potter 2010)  sticks closely to that of the film and the numerous magical battles and duels are difficult but not frustrating. This game will enchant existing fans of the videogame series and  Mini Gamers predicts that it will be at the top of many people's Christmas lists this year. Overall rating: 9/10.

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Game Of The Week: Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth (DS/DSi)

It is great news for fans of the long-running TV show everywhere, as Doctor Who has finally been given his own RPG Action-Adventure on the Nintendo DS. The game has been officially licensed by BBC Worldwide and features complete voice work by the Eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith, and his Companion Amy Pond  (Karen Gillan), which helps to give it the feel of an actual Doctor Who episode.

The game has also been coupled with a special Sonic Screwdriver Stylus Pack, which is sure to be a good stocking filler this Christmas.  A Wii  game called Dr. Who: Return to Earth also accompanies this title.

In Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth, The Doctor and Amy travel to the Lake District shortly before the end of the world. They have come to supervise the human evactuation from the planet's surface. However, it is not long before the two of them run into trouble.

The TARDIS gets pulled on board the Evacuation ship and The Doctor and Amy must engage in a fierce battle with two very well-known enemies - The Silurians and The Daleks - in order to get it back.  

Doctor Who: Evacuation Earth includes over 100 logic puzzles to solve, plus over 60 exciting locations to explore. The game itself has been marketed for a family audience, which does mean that some of the puzzles are very easy to complete. Nevertheless, the storyline is both witty and very enjoyable.

On the whole, this is a good puzzle Action-Adventure game which is sure to interest any Doctor Who fan. However, the easy-to-complete puzzles may get on the nerves of some adults who wish to be challenged by their video games. Overall rating: 8/10.

Opening Scenes from Doctor Who: Evaction Earth

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Launched at Midnight.

Video game producers Activision staged a midnight launch last night for the latest Call of Duty game, known as Call of Duty: Black Ops.

As part of the UK launch, entertainment giant, HMV opened 100 of its highstreet stores overnight, including its flagship Oxford Street branch, which was attended by approximately 350 gamers, some of whom had been queueing for more than twelve hours in order to get their hands on the game!

A free version of the special Prestige Edition of Call of Duty: Black Ops was handed to student Imran Chowdhury, who happened to be the first customer in the Oxford Street HMV store at midnight. Other prizes were also on offer for the store's first 500 customers.

All UK HMV branches are currently offering an Exchange Promotion on the Xbox and PS3 versions of EA's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, which means that gamers can get the new Call of Duty: Black Ops game for £7.99 when they trade in an old copy of Modern Warfare 2. Unfortunately, this offer does not apply to the Nintendo DS. 

HMV were not the only retailer to take advantage of the midnight launch. Supermarket retailer, Tesco also opened up 362 of its UK stores.

Meanwhile, a special launch party was held at the disused Battersea Powerstation last night. A life size image of the Call of Duty: Black Ops logo was beamed onto the side of the building in celebration. The party included a celebrity tournament of the game and a performace by British rapstar Tinie Tempah.

The US launch was an even more lavish affair. GameStop opened a total of 4408 branches of its retail chain across the country, whilst Best Buy and Walmart also opened many of their branches at midnight as well. The US launch party was also headlined by a stage performance from rock veterans Metallica.

So far, one million sales are predicted for Call of Duty: Black Ops in its first week of sale alone, which could put it at the very top of the Christmas gaming market. Judging from the amount of pre-order sales alone, this is very likely.

HMV's Head of Games, Tim Ellis said: "Call of Duty: Black Ops is set to challenge last year's phenomenon Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to become the fastest and biggest selling title in games history." [sourced from: http://www.gamesindustrybiz/articles/2010-11-09]

Whether the game does indeed manage to top the Christmas gaming charts or not, one thing is for certain, with its use of  heart-racing action and an in-depth storyline which sees players engage in secret warfare, and millitary operations, as well as explosive conflicts across the globe, the Nintendo DS version of Call of Duty: Black Ops is definitely worth a try.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Game Of The Week: God Of War: Ghost Of Sparta

Kratos has returned to the PSP in an epic new story, with more ferocious mythical battles, trademark gameplay, and groundbreaking graphics. God of War: Ghost of Sparta is a prequel to the best-selling God Of War franchise, set just after the events in the original God of War game on the Playstation 2. This game finally attempts to deal with Kratos' mysterious and troubled past and follows his ascension to power as the God of War.
God of War: Ghost of Sparta features many elements that will be instantly recognisable to fans of the series so far, including many quick-time events, puzzles and boss fights.

The latest game also features new weapons, magical powers and navigational abilities not present in previous games, including the Arms of Sparta - a powerful spear and shield combo - which will allow Kratos to battle more realistically than ever before.

Kratos' new magical abilities include the Eye of Atlantis, which is a weapon that allows you to harness the power of Atlantis and use it to electrocute your enemies. The Scourge of Erinys; this artifact shoots dark energy with the similar rapid range blast of Typhon's Bane in God of War II  but it is much stronger, and lastly, the Horn of Boreas, which freezes nearby enemies.  it can also freeze the magic meter so Kratos can use magic without draining any power, but this only works for a few seconds at a time.

The game has also been cited as featuring twenty-five percent more gameplay than its brilliant PSP predecessor Chains of Olympus. That means that the gameplay is almost double in length than those of the other games in the series, which in turn means more treasure chests to find, more puzzles to solve and more abilites to master.

If you ever wondered just how Kratos got that scar then this is the perfect game for you. It is also good for newcomers to the series. Nevertheless, as fans will know, this game has been given an '18+' age certificate so expect plenty of blood and guts. This is not a title for the faint-hearted.

Official Trailer

 This game is a cinematic masterpiece. The cutscenes are interesting but not too long, and the graphics are truly stunning. This could well prove to be one of the best Action-Adventure games to be released on the PSP this year.

 If you are new to the series, but are not opposed to fighting or battle action-adventures, then this is the perfect place to start. If you are already a fan of the series then this title is a must-have as it fills in story details which have been neglected in all of the previous games. Overall rating: 10/10.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

More Delays For EyePet PSP and Buzz: Ultimate Music Quiz

EyePet PSP and Buzz: Ultimate Music Quiz are to suffer from futher delays it was revealed today. The news follows the SCEE's decision to stop producing PSP Development Kits on the 15th November this year.

Eyepet PSP was first announced at E3 earlier this year, and was originally given an late October release date. This was subsequently changed to the 5th of November 2010.

However, the game has once again been delayed without a clear reason. The new release date for Eyepet PSP is the 19th of November 2010, but there is no way of telling whether this date will be changed again between now and then, and to make matters worse, Eyepet PSP isn't the only PSP game to delay its release by a number of weeks.

Buzz: The Ultimate Music Quiz was also supposed to be released on the 15th of October this year. That date was then changed to the 19th November 2010. Now the game is set to be delayed until the 26th of November 2010.

These two games are sadly a further example of the PSP's overall decline in the gaming market. With the launch of the PSP Go console, which allows game media to be downloaded directly  onto its built-in hard drive, more and more video game retailers have chosen to only stock a limited amount of PSP games and peripherals. This is a trend which is set to worsen after the Development Kits have been discontinued.


Several  popular PSP games have been delayed until next year, including Star Wars III: The Clone Wars and Patapon 3. Whilst an even greater number of  sequels to successful PSP games have failed to even been produced for PSP at all, including The Force Unleashed II, whose predecessor (The Force Unleashed) was a huge smash on PSP, and The Sims 3.

Speaking at E3 in June this year, Sony Computer Entertainment America CEO, Jack Tretton, promised PSP fans that an amazing 70 new titles for the handheld console by the end of 2010, but as the amount of delays increases, this promise is unlikely to be fulfilled.

In recent months, several rumours concerning new types of PSP console have emerged, including rumours of a new gaming device nicknamed the PSP 2, which Sony refuses to acknowledge, and a new mobile phone with PSP gaming capabilities, which is said to already be in development. Is this the end of the Sony PSP as we know it?

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Latest Layton Mini Games...We Provide The Answers

This post does contain spoilers
It has come to our attention here at Mini Gamers that some of you have been searching this blogsite for the answers to the Professor Layton & The Lost (Unwound) Future Mini Games. So, we have decided to list all of the solutions for each of the new Mini Games in turn.

 Picture Book Mini Game Solutions

Picture Book 1

Place the Hat, Boot and Dead Tree stickers on Page 01
Place the Plum Tree and Old Man stickers on Page 02 
(Plum Tree and Man Sticker in US version)

Place the Plum sticker on Page 04


 Place the Girl sticker on Page 05
Place the Banana sticker on Page 07
Picture Book 2 is now unlocked

Picture Book 2

Place the Woman sticker on Page 01
Place the Raincoat sticker on Page 02
 Place the Coffee and Old Man stickers on Page 03
(Coffee and Man stickers in US version)

Place the Boy and Tea stickers on Page 04
Place the Milk Bottle sticker on Page 05

Place the Adventurer sticker on Page 06 
 (the Traveller sticker in US version)

Place the Cocoa and Mushroom stickers on Page 07
Picture Book 3 is now unlocked

Picture Book 3

Place the Butler sticker on Page 01


Place the Young Master and Master stickers on Page 02

Place the Chef sticker on Page 03

Place the Cat sticker on Page 04

Place the Watch and Gardener stickers on Page 05

Place the Trowel and Tutor stickers on Page 07

Place the Maid sticker on Page 08
Place the Fork sticker on Page 10


Place the Figurine sticker on Page 11
You have now completed all three Picture Books!

Racing Car Mini Game:
Track Solutions

*Please note that all solutions here are only one of several solutions

Course one: Afternoon Walk (UK)/
Daily Stroll (US)

 Please arrange tiles as shown with the car facing up

Course Two: Big Score
Arrange the tiles as shown with the car facing up

Course Three: Cake Hunt Course (UK)/

Sweet Hunt Course (US)

Arrange the tiles as shown with the car facing upwards

Course Four: Desert Trek Course

Arrange the tiles and car as shown


Course Five: Clean Up

Arrange the tiles as shown with the car facing upwards

Course Six: Patrol Route

 Arrange the tiles and car as shown

Course Seven: Gold Grab

Place Tiles and Car as shown

Course Eight: Carrot Patch
Arrange the tiles as shown and face the car down

Course Nine: Cash RoundUp

Arrange the car and selected tiles as shown

Course Ten: Hat Hunt

Arrange the tiles and car as shown


Fun With Luke (UK)/An Apple for Luke (US)

1. Day Delivery Errand Solution
Arrange the ropes as shown

2. Sunset Delivery Solution
Arrange the ropes as shown

3. Night Delivery Errand Solution
Arrange the ropes as shown

Statchen's Toadstool Delivery Errand
Arrange ropes as shown

A Flower For Adeline
Arrange ropes as shown

Minnie's Homemade Cake Errand
Arrange ropes as shown

Paillards Tomato Supreme Delivery Errand
Arrange ropes as shown

Silky's Coffee Delivery Errand
Arrange ropes as shown
A Friend for Viv Delivery Errand
Arrange ropes as shown

Helping Maya Delivery Errand

Arrange ropes as shown

Scatterbrained Paige Delivery Errand
Arrange rope as shown

Beacon's Hat Delivery Errand
Arrange ropes as shown

Raleigh's Soccer Ball Delivery Errand
Arrange Ropes as shown 
Hardy's Lunch Delivery Errand
Arrange ropes as shown

Hazel's Gift Delivery Errand
Arrange ropes as shown

So there you have it - every solution from all three of the new Professor Layton Mini Games. We hope you find them useful. Incidentally, readers of this blog can use the Mini Gamer's Suggestion Box to ask questions about a handheld game which they are stuck on and we will try and find a solution for you.

All mini game images and solutions sourced from: