It's somewhat ironic that Raving Babies has the art of passifying a bunch of little ones at its heart, given that as soon as you have one yourself playing games is likely to fall right down your priority list.

Pixalon's nippers, however, are less like cute and cuddly cherubs and more akin to gangsters who happen to be packing Pampers.

The result of a series of genetic experiments, these brainy babes have escaped from the lab that bore them and are on the loose.

Your role is to scoop them all back up again before they have a chance to do any damage. Less obvious considering the subject matter, however, is is the way you do it: with a gun.

Babes with arms

Before you hurriedly rattle off an email to the Daily Mail, this is no ordinary gun.

Designed to fit in with its setting, the gun at hand simply sends the babies off to sleep, allowing you to gather them all up before the effect wears off.

This means you spend your time walking around the map using all the number keys but '5', which itself fires your gun in whichever direction you're facing.

Given any contact with the babies themselves takes a chunk out of your health, moving and shooting here is the key, with Raving Babies essentially redressing what is a standard 2D action-shooter in basic clothes.

Young and old

Basic in terms of looks, that is.

Raving Babies is certainly no pushover, with the continued onslaught of enemies forcing you into corners repeatedly, haphazardly firing your weapon in all directions.

Levels are also varied in terms of content. As well as gunplay, there are also mini-puzzles that sit in the middle of stages – making your way through a maze of toxic nappies, or finding test tubes hidden beneath a formation of toys.

Throw in some typically old skool boss battles and you have what, in short spells at least, plays out as an action-adventure.

What Raving Babies needs, however, is a bit of editing. There doesn't appear to be much craft behind the implementation of the game's enemies, which spread their wings as the levels pass, but seem to pile on without much thought or guile.

Like its subjects, Raving Babies's biggest failing is a lack of brains. It's all just a bit too generic to ever really surprise you. It does no harm, but ultimately makes no real mark on those who play it either.