Five... great games for the Xperia Play
Top titles for the 'PlayStation phone'
iGamer Touchscreen gaming on a small screen has two inherent problems. Firstly, the very act of controlling the game involves obscuring the view with your fingers and, secondly, with no physical controls you can sometimes end up pressing furiously at entirely the wrong part of the screen as you get cut down like a dog, squashed flat, crash in a fireball or fall off a cliff.
Sony Ericsson’s Android-based Xperia Play gets around both problems with a slide-out control pad that will be instantly familiar to anyone who has ever played a game on anything with the word "Playstation" in is name.
Of course, you can’t just play any old games with the Xperia Play’s slide-out controller. A game has to support the physical controls, and many don’t. Secondly, it has to play in landscape. You can play portrait games on the Play, but only with it snapped shut which rather defeats the object.
So limber up your fingers and thumbs, and kick back as Reg Hardware runs, jumps, power-slides, creeps, crashes, burrows, builds and hacks it’s way through the best the Xperia Play has to offer.
Asphalt 6 Adrenaline
Referencing aspects of almost every arcade racer you care to think of, not least the previous five versions of Asphalt, Adrenaline is high-octane macho silliness with some racing thrown in for good measure. There’s a good selection of cars, tracks and scenery and you can even pick a Tesla if your want to race with your eco-warrior helmet on.
Of course, some will say that the perfect way to control a driving game is with the accelerometer but I for one quickly get tired to looking at a gaming screen that’s bobbing between 30-odd degrees either side of true so I’ll take a more conventional game-pad any day of the week. If you want to race against real people A6 can be networked over Bluetooth or the web.
Download Android Market 
If Tim Leary has designed Sonic this is what it would look like. The eponymous hero is a little TV-headed character that you make run, jump and swing through a luxurious cartoon-like world collecting stars and powering up terminals. You can also get bonus points for finishing levels in under a certain time, something I’ve never once managed to do so tight are the time limits.
The graphical richness and sense of movement is wonderfully exaggerated by a wandering point of view that swoops around and pans in and out almost but not quite enough to make you feel a little dizzy. With so much time spent with the run and jump keys depressed the Xperia Play and Cordy could have been designed with each other in mind.
Price First four levels free then £1.30 via in-app purchase
Download Android Market 
I’m not really a fan of over-the-shoulder PoV shoot ‘em ups but Dead Space is good enough to make me swallow my dislike. To start with, the graphics are truly excellent while the gameplay is immersive, challenging and not a little scary. Like the original Marathon  it’s one of those rare games that generates actual fear and apprehension at what may be coming next.
The stand-out benefit of playing Dead Space on the Xperia is that you can use the left trigger to bring your weapon up into aim mode which makes accurate fire easier than on the iPhone version. That said it’s still not what I’d call an easy game to play. Luckily, the early levels are free so you can dip your plasma cutter into the red before parting with the green.
Reg Rating 85%
Download Exclusive to the Xperia Play via EA Games’ Flexion Store
Minecraft Pocket Edition
I must be honest and say I never quite understood the Minecraft craze. You run about a world made of blocks and build stuff from other blocks. Or dig holes. OK, and then what? Well, and then nothing, that’s the point of the entire game. But as a take-anywhere-with-you, dip-in-and-out mobile game it’s appeal is starting to become more clear.
The Pocket version keeps most of the key attributes of the PC game intact, including networking, while the retro graphics translate well onto the small screen. Thanks to the Xperia’s controls it’s also very easy to play and gives little away to the keyboard-and-mouse system of the real thing. That’s just as well because while there is a free demo in the Market the full game is not what I’d call cheap.
Download Android Market 
OK, it’s a blatant Halo rip-off and the dialogue was clearly written by someone who doesn’t use English as their first language, but as a linear sci-fi FP shooter it’s not at all bad. With flying bad guys, man-eating plants, vehicles a-plenty and armoured mech-walkers straight out of Avatar there’s plenty to shoot at and a correspondingly abundant supply of guns and ammo.
With the Xperia’s control pad it’s a darned site easier to play than through a touchscreen interface. In my book, the ability to use individual compass-point keys for the forward, back and sidestep movements - be it the W-X-A-D keys on a keyboard or the directional buttons on a PlayStation controller - is absolutely vital for a good first-person shooter experience.
Download Android Market