What we've been playing this week.
Tom Orry, Editor - Football Manager 2013, PC
Right, I think it's time to admit that I might have a problem. Between December 22 and Boxing Day I racked up about 30 hours of game time in Football Manager 2013, and while that's a lot of time put into one game, I reaped many rewards. Spurs are now one of the biggest teams in Europe, having won the Premier League, the Capital One Cup, and the Champions League in a single season. That included a dramatic second-half comeback in the final against Barcelona.
Football Manager is a drug that I'm finding hard to give up, but I am at least limiting my play time to weekday lunchtimes. For those wondering if any Spurs originals remain in my squad, the only players still wearing a Tottenham shirt are Bale (now 29), Loris (now 31), and Kyle Walker (now 29). The rest of my main squad are all aged below 25. So, if you're reading this Daniel Levy, invest in youngsters and in about six years we'll win everything.
Steve Burns, Reviews and Features Editor - Score! Classic Goals, iOS
It may have been out for a while, but in the absence of any sane pricing for FIFA Football Vita (£44.99 on the PS Store!) this week I've been playing Score! Classic Goals on iOS. Its simple premise - recreate well known goals by 'drawing' them, setting the power and accuracy of predetermined passes/shots - hides the fact that it's as addictive to football fans as food is to Brazilian Ronaldo.
Naturally, it doesn't have the depth of a FIFA or PES, but it's well animated, atmospheric, and 'drawing' that Beckham free kick against Greece is as rewarding as anything found in fully-fledged football titles. Oh, and did I mention it was free after Christmas (and only costs a paltry 69p otherwise?) And not £44.99?
(As an aside, FIFA 13, FIFA Football's successor, is only £39.99 on the PS Store. Of course.)
David Scammell, Deputy News Editor - Civilization V: Gods and Kings, PC
The Christmas break is great for two things: eating more turkey sandwiches than is humanly good for you and clearing out the video game backlog. Every gamer does it, working their way through a handful of games accrued in recent years that remain untouched on their shelf. Boxing day? More like unboxing day.
Anyway, I sat down with a few over the break, sinking time into Activision's not-as-bad-as-you-might-think-but-still-pretty-terrible FPS Battleship and getting most of the way through id shooter RAGE. I also went on a temporary nostalgia splurge with Banjo-Tooie before clearing its creative sequel Nuts and Bolts.
But then I caught the Civ bug, and after spending thousands of virtual hours fashioning an empire, I finally understand the love for it: everybody loves being a dick. Ghandi hates me, largely for upping the price of cotton and spices, and Isabella of Spain is starting to ask questions after I parked a fleet of Destroyers off the coast of Barcelona and set up an air base full of bombers on the corner of Seville. Heaven only knows what she'll make of the camels shifting menacingly toward Madrid.