My first impressions of Roogoo from screenshots and trailers weren’t good. Despite being a puzzle game fan, nothing in Roogoo seemed to appeal to me but when I downloaded the trial from the XBOX Live Arcade, I was hooked.

The objective in the game is simple. Get the shapes from the top to the bottom through a series of discs which players rotate using the left and right bumpers. Obviously, as player’s progress new obstacles and challenges will occur such as Meemoos (ugly purple aliens) standing in the way of your block’s paths, which can be defeated by holding A to speed up your block and knocking the Meemoo off the platform. Thankfully, they are the only controls you’ll need throughout the single player (but there are additional buttons for the multiplayer).

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The Xbox 360 has been graced with some incredible racing titles since its release in 2005. Project Gotham Racing 4, Forza Motorsport 2 and even the newly-released Race Driver: GRID are just a few of the titles which spring to mind. But with great success, comes great failure, and after looking at preview trailers for Monster Jam, I had little hope that the title would join the successors. Don’t get me wrong, I love racing games, but when one of the main selling points of the game is “Race Outdoors!”, it really gives you little faith in the title.

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Boom Blox is the first game from a series of three developed by EA in conjunction with top-Hollywood director, Steven Spielberg, an avid gamer. In Boom Blox, players have to throw, grab and blast Jenga-styled blocks in order to complete a variety of challenges. The challenges include: throwing bombs at enemies to prevent them destroying your base; throwing baseballs at blocks to knock down blue gems; moving blocks so that your character can reach the end of the course and that’s just the start of it.

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It seems that developers are trying out new techniques for joining matching colours in puzzle games though unfortunately for them, few become very successful. TiQal is the latest title from Slapdash Games which was released on the XBOX Live Arcade at the end of March 2008. In TiQal, players shoot coloured “Tetris-like” blocks onto rows and columns of rising blocks to form squares of 2×2 or more. Once a square is formed, the blocks glow momentarily so players can increase the amount of blocks to create larger squares, allowing them to create higher combinations.

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When a game’s released based on a recent movie, the majority of the time it’s a terrible conversion. Recent titles such as Shrek the Third and The Golden Compass failed to impress, but Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was a title which boosted faith in the licensed movie-to-game genre. In the latest attempt at trying to have a successful film-to-game conversion we have The Spiderwick Chronicles, originally based on the five books written by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black.

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