- Thought it was time to waft through a few games we've been playing here at GameSetWatch Towers, since it's the height of holiday game release season.

Although the last one of these was only a couple of weeks back, there are a surprising amount of titles sneaking out there that deserve a second glance or a little more publicity, and this rundown happens to reference a few of these - and one game that isn't quite so great, aw. Avast:

- Neves (Yuke's, DS)
This seems to have been distinctly ignored thus far by reviewers, which is a shame, since it's a genuinely different DS title than the normal 'brain training clone' crop. As my colleague Christian discussed with Yuke's in a recent interview, it's a tangram-based puzzler that's officially licensed from Japanese physical puzzle veterans Hanayama, and I find the tangram manipulation pretty playable using a stylus. So sure, you're just moving triangles to make pictures - but it's a lot of fun.

- Beautiful Katamari (Bandai Namco, Xbox 360)
The latest non-Takahashi-helmed version of Katamari, on the other hand, has been noticed - but has got mixed reviews overall, with the hardcore particularly deriding it for being a 'more of the same' jaunt, and a third sequel to a game that shouldn't really have had one sequel. All somewhat true - but it's still a complete blast to play and replay. The main issues are some harsh gating to unlock free play, and some pay-to-play unlockable content that's allegedly already on the disc - but magic facsimiled a few times is still a bit magick-y, guv'nor.

- - Phase (Harmonix, iPod)
Several intelligent people, including but not limited to Wired.com's Chris Kohler, have done excellent impressions of this iPod game already - and I'm looking forward to the GDC lecture on creating it - but it bears repeating that this is just a killer game app for video iPods. The art, by Aaron Stewart, is new-cartoon adorable, and if you liked Frequency and Amplitude (yesh!) you will go a little crazy over the easy playability of Phase. And infinite custom soundtracks, blimey. Networked high scores through Gracenote next, please? (Also, ex-coworker Jane Pinckard has a song on the demo soundtrack, and Aaron Stewart has the best Halloween costume evah.)

- Viva Pinata Party Animals (Krome/Microsoft, Xbox 360)
Ending with a dis-recommendation - we tried a four-player party match of this at the weekend, and as can be seen by the collected reviews, this title didn't quite get it together. The main collective complaints were over the repeated, slightly meandering racing game section, and the mixed quality of the minigame sections themselves. Oh, and the text/menus are really small if you don't play on a big TV. Still, Krome gets points for moxy by using the phrase 'ground pound' in the instructions for one of the games - how much more Mario/Mario Party-esque can you get?

OK, so that's our random set of games that you might or might not care about. So what are you playing right now, and what should people be focusing on in the holiday rush? Oh, and if you say Portal again again, we'll have to kill you, you realize?