Top Trumps James Bond

In this post-Xbox Live world, online gamers have earned something of a bad name for themselves.

You can picture them now: sat almost motionless on their sofa mere metres from their TV sets, munching away on salty snacks, persecuting their fellow players on the grounds of sexual orientation as their own significant others slip out the front door, bags packed.

Of course, that's only one slice of the online gaming pie. As Top Trumps James Bond proves, playing other people online can be a perfectly placid process, devoid of all such confrontation.

You might even call it mundane.

Bond without balls

Never has a truer word been spoken when it comes to this latest crack at the Top Trumps whip.

Online elements aside, this is largely the same as previous editions, with developer It's All In the Game, Baby! (I've not made that up) splitting the challenge into two main modes – Classic and Tournament.

The former serves up the kind of experience you might expect, handing you 16 cards fitted out with Bond heroes and villains and charging you with taking on either an AI or online controlled opponent in a standard game of Top Trumps.

As well as personalised bios, each character is also rated in terms of style, seductiveness, brutality, how twisted they are, the threat they represent, and the year of the film they appeared in.

Assuming you're in control, the idea is to pick the best stat on offer, hoping it outclasses your opponent and adds their card to your tally.

Such a setup will be familiar to any Top Trumps fan, though this is a somewhat jagged affair. The game's engine is seemingly unable to cope with the movement of the cards themselves, flapping about with abandon whenever it has to compare scores.

Bored game

Tournament mode is no better, but it does attempt to put a boardgame-style spin on affairs.

Each trade-off takes place as a mini-game defined by its own rule set, pegs handed out as prizes.

The overall aim is to attempt to win more pegs than your rival, though given that some rounds don't actually involve the cards at all – the spinner that sandwiches each game often landing on a square that hands out pegs for free – whether you win or lose the tournament as a whole is often down to luck.

Even in Challenge mode, it's questionable just how much skill is required on either side.

Should you lose control of play, it's quite possible you'll never get it back, the cards falling in quick succession as your opponent cleans up. Even if control is eventually relinquished, it feels artificial, with your rival picking a category it's clear from the outset is a solid loser.

It makes you wonder why you'd care in the first place. Top Trumps, in any form, needs another human being present to really spark play off.

The worrying thing is, in Top Trumps James Bond's stuttering, stalling ,and utterly uninspiring form, this may be one online game that's bereft of players altogether, slobs or no slobs.

Top Trumps James Bond

Bland, boring and ultimately struggling to technically pull off what is a simple exercise, Top Trumps James Bond is no blockbuster