The course of true love never doth run smooth, and it's even rockier when you're dealing with a pair of pissed-up slappers arguing over a boyfriend on an annonymous high street. Such is the premise, sans plonk, for AMA's Love Triangle.
You play as Emily, the bookish beauty who's so hung-up on Johnny that as soon as he breaks up with her best friend, Lucy, she decides to make her move. With a story as pulpy as that of the average agony aunt column, alarms may well be sounding as the threat of a terrible, mawkish game looms large.
Although a mostly text-based game where you merely select the answers Emily gives in conversations with the other two main characters, the visuals are a large part of the game's charm. These colourful and tastefully stylised sprites add massively to both the story and characterisation, thanks to the over-the-top animations that punctuate the narrative and, to use a regrettable cliche, bring the story to life.
The story itself isn't that dynamic, lacking the otherworldly madness of something like My Bridezilla, but anyone lured-in by the title alone should be kept happy by the various twists. It's not the plot that impresses here, but rather the quality of the dialogue. It's all so thoroughly well-written, loaded with little jokes and character references, that the end result belies the size of the mobile screen.
Love Triangle is split into a number of chapters, generally reflecting 'scenes' in the story. It's very much possible to fail a chapter, and a gauge at the top of the screen shows quite how close you are to making your conversational partner storm off in a rage. In between chapters, there's a simple whack-a-mole mini-game to break up any textual tedium. Score enough points, and you'll be given some love tips by the game's characters. The game is easy and simple, but as a quick breather from the story, it performs well.
Many mobile gamers will be put off by this game's title, assigning it to the lifestyle litter bin that they'd never dream of having a poke around in. It's a shame, because Love Triangle is a valid and respectable adventure game in its own right, with a script that puts a most other mobile games to shame.
The game's longevity is less strong, though. As a linear adventure that sees you take the same story path each time you play, once you've finally managed to get whisked away in Johnny's arms *sigh*, there's little compulsion to re-tread the game, much like re-watching an episode of a soap.
There's an impressive amount of craftmanship that has gone into this title, and it's clearly the work of a developer that knows how to work to the strengths of the mobile format. It'll be interesting to see what it can come up with if it works with a game that won't put off a whole swathe of gamers from the title alone.