24: The Mobile Game

This was the most interesting of the games available on my provider's download site - at least that I could find within a couple minutes of browsing on the phone. I find that I rush around as fast as possible in the hopes that it won't cost me as much in data rates, even though I'm sure I'd be lucky to be spending a few cents a minute.

Wasn't I supposed to be discussing the game?

Based on the television series of the same name, this is an impressively presented set of various minigames which are linked together to form a fully realised story. Complete with small cameo images and text dialogue from various characters in the show, you play the part of an agent helping Jack Bauer and the team to investigate a threat from North Korea.

The various minigames include a top down driving segment where you have to get from location to location and not crash into other cars too much (ever play the original Ghostbusters game on various home computers or consoles? Remember the driving segments in that?), an infiltration game similar to Metal Gear - you have various guards patrolling on fixed paths with a marked line of sight and you have to get past them all without raising alarms, defusing bombs, picking locks … even decoding scrambled transmissions. All told there's 10 different minigames, recurring at different points through the plot, and if you like, you can play them individually in training mode as well as during the game proper. If a particular minigame is failed or skipped, you incur a time penalty, and as you might imagine, there's an overall time limit for completing the whole story.

When I first bought this, I ended up playing it for 45 minutes straight and damn near drained the batteries. This would've made an excellent Game Boy Advance or DS game, so it certainly surprised me to play it on a mobile phone. I highly recommend it at the equivalent of $US5 … hell, I'd be generous and say it's worth $US7 or 8. I'm just that kind of guy.

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This originally appeared as part of my August 2006 column for Collector Times

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