APP OF THE DAY: Call of Carlos review (Windows Phone)

Maker Games Academy may have avoided the temptation to use a Chilean protagonist in this game which involves escaping from a mine but, in selecting Carlos ("an apathetic and chubby Mexican miner"), it may well have done.

Politically correct? Probably not. Great fun? You betcha. In fact, we think today's App of The Day is the best free game on Microsoft's revitalised mobile OS.

Call of Carlos

Platform
Windows Phone

Price
Free

Where
Marketplace

Let's be honest. Most of the free games on Windows Phone are naff. But Call of Carlos is definitely an exception. It doesn't feel like a cheap game knocked up and rushed out just to take advantage of the lack of free games in the Marketplace. It feels like a genuine, slick, mobile game that ticks the crucial box of any casual game - addictiveness.

The story is a simple one (as is Carlos, we suspect): "One day, while doing his daily mining business, he suddenly finds a rare diamond inside one of the mining shafts. As he tries to break it loose, lava emerges from the bottom of the shaft! Carlos quickly grabs the diamond, takes his trusty pickaxe and tries to escape the lengthy mineshafts!"

The premise and gameplay also won't stretch the imagination or your gaming skills too much either. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. In its simpleness lies its brilliance.

You start at the bottom of the mine. Your aim is to reach the exit as quickly as possible, collecting as many diamonds as you can along the way. You do this by using your pickaxe and a rope, swinging, Spiderman-style, from platform to platform, using your phone's accelerometer to move Carlos in the right direction.

At the end of each level you are given a score based on the amount of diamonds you managed to bag, the time in which you hit the exit goal and a bonus based on the amount of continuous platforms you managed to climb without touching the floor.

And while there's no star rating à la Angry Birds or Cut the Rope, you can bet your bottom dollar that you'll waste hours trying to improve your score, safe in the notion that you know that you can do better.

The graphics are simple, yet nice, and the controls are as intuitive and responsive as they need to be.

In short, Call of Carlos is a real diamond in the rough. Get it now.