24 Mobile Review

24 has become quite a phenomenon for the folks over at Fox. Over the past four seasons (and leading well into its fifth), the suspense/thriller show with Kiefer Sutherland in the driver's seat has delivered time and time again with exciting scenarios and breathtaking drama, with a cliffhanger at the end of each episode just to keep everyone intrigued. Well, video games are about to get their own 24 assault, with the PS2 edition arriving next week and the mobile game for cell phones already making the rounds.

In the mobile game 24, you take control of a fellow CTU agent, instead of Jack Bauer himself, who finds themselves thrust right into the middle of a terrorist plot. As you proceed through the game, you'll actually be working alongside Jack, as well as CTU agent Chloe back at the headquarters, as you work your way through each scenario, getting that much closer to completing the mission. The game features a variety of mini-games to complete, as well as levels that require you to drive through frantic traffic and perform stealth maneuvers in order to avoid detection by the enemies at hand.

Like the show, the game works in real time, with a countdown segment for each stage that you're working on. However, it's a bit gracious, as you're able to maybe make a couple of mistakes and still complete the stage in plenty of time. You don't want to screw up too much, however. Too much time dwindled away will affect your overall score in the game. A cool aspect here is that you can actually stop after completing a stage and pick back up later, in case you don't feel like finishing the game in one sitting. There is a lot to do here, so you might want to consider that option.

24 is perfectly paced, giving you a lot of tension while also providing a lot of hands-on approach during the missions. It can be challenging at times, especially for later levels in the game and during the segments where gunplay is absolutely necessary, but it's loads of fun. Some of the action stages take a little getting used to with slightly slowed controls, but still work. The presentation also benefits from some pretty good graphics, almost coming across like a CTU interface, and decent sound effects. I just wish some voices were used from the show, instead of the likelinesses of actors. True, you get to see Bauer as he actually tries to talk to you, but to not hear him takes away a bit of the adrenaline rush.

But never mind. The fact that I-Play has actually put forth some effort into this mobile game is a shock enough. 24 delivers the experience of the show perfectly to your handheld, and it's a game I absolutely recommend, especially if you're a big fan of the show. If you're not, well, maybe it'll hook you, especially after you find yourself playing a pivotal part in saving the city. And you thought you'd just find the phone useful for calling Grandma.

What's Hot: Great puzzle/action stages; intense presentation.

What's Not: Some action scenarios are sluggish; no actor voicework.

4/5