Announced alongside Nvidia's Tegra 3 powerhouse chipset, DaVinci THD was going to be the defining first-person shooter for the next generation of Androids.
It would boast a story campaign set during the Renaissance, Quake-esque multiplayer, and Unreal Engine-powered environments so shiny that you could practically feel the warmth of the Italian God rays through your phone.
Something, however, went deeply awry along the way. The ambitious template - laid out in the Project Renaissaince debut trailer - appears to have been almost entirely scrapped, leaving a hollow rush job of an on-rails shooter in its place.Lacking invention
There's a story, of sorts, but even that feels perfunctory thanks to the minimal cut-scenes, sometimes baffling exposition ("I've seen this ectoplasm before"), and budget voice acting.
Leonardo da Vinci (you know, the inventor guy from Assassin's Creed II) is dead, and it's up you - in the guise of hero Rossi - to retrieve his final blueprint before it can fall into the hands of cackling, wizard-like villain Bart (yes, 'Bart').
What presumably started out as a globetrotting quest has been pared down to just two brief stages, though a further pair is 'coming soon'.
There are flashes of Tegra 3 magic in some of the environments - like the ivy-covered amphitheatre walls that sparkle in the sunlight - but a lot of the game shepherds you through a procession of bland internal corridors (a shootout in a library is as scintillating as it sounds).
Lacking as you do the ability to move, your only job is to use a floaty, unreliable virtual controller to fire a - supposedly da Vinci-designed - crossbow or steampunk machine gun at minimally animated range of thugs, ghostly knights, and bulky, crucifix-heaving ogres.
Da Vinci disaster
Unlike in far better on-rails shooter Heist: The Score, there's no mid-mission checkpointing, so you're forced to replay from scratch if you cark it before the end.
Plugging in a controller should help the aiming woes -especially if you want to replay the levels on Medium and Hard or boost your high scores.
But with only about 30 minutes of mediocre gameplay in the first place - and an irksome tendency to crash while loading - Renaissance THD does precious little to lure you back for a second blast.