Monthly Archive: June 2012

Inferno+ [Radiangames] – $2.99

Radiangames has definitely made a huge splash in the AppStore with their previous releases of Super Crossfire, Fireball SE, and Ballistic SE. Earlier this week, their newest release, Inferno+, hit the AppStore, and as you might have expected, it’s one hell of a game. 
Originally released on XBOX Live like their previous titles, this enhanced version of Inferno includes 40 levels, multiple upgrades, 3 difficulty levels along with a special New Game+ difficulty, 20 Game Center achievements, Retina Support for the new iPad and iCloud saving. 
Unlike Radiangames past releases, Inferno+ is not a high-score chasing game. Instead, it’s centered around exploration, blasting away hoards of enemies and upgrading your ship. Granted, Super Crossfire, Fireball and Ballistic were all about blasting away enemies and upgrading your ship, but none of them included the exploration aspect, and considering this is the first title by Radiangames that includes exploration as a main gameplay aspect, they’ve done a fantastic job building Inferno+ around it. 
While you’re blasting enemies, you’ll be searching around each of the levels trying to find all of the orbs, keys, bombs, and hidden areas. The orbs are used to unlock upgrades and purchase items like extra drones which follow close behind you, and help destroy the enemies, bombs, which take out screens full of enemies, and keys, which unlock areas of the levels that are behind impassable boarders. 
You will need to collect all of the bombs you can because there are some enemies which require a bomb to take them out. There are also black holes which can only be dealt with either by completely avoiding them, or blowing them up. There’s also a shield power which you can upgrade with electricity, allowing for you to damage enemies while using your shield. In the later levels, switching between your shot and shield will be a maneuver you’ll need to get comfortable with in order to get through the game. 
Adding to the excitement and overall feel of progression, every 10 levels will take you to a boss battle. These boss battles can get very hectic, and are some of the most exciting sections of the entire game. It is kind of upsetting that you can’t go back and replay previously beaten levels, because these boss battles would get loads and loads of gameplay out of me.

There are also hidden areas which are behind the levels walls. In order to find these, you’ll need to either drag against the walls, or fire your shots directly at them. Your shots go through the holes in the walls, which can also be used to your advantage, as the enemies can not go through the holes in the walls. There are some holes which only open up after you reach a certain area of the level, and some which will close behind you after you’ve entered them, letting you only go through them once. 
Also hidden throughout the game are special bonus levels. These can usually only be found by using extra keys picked up throughout the game, or purchased from the shop area. These bonus levels give you 30 seconds to make your way through a level, picking up as many orbs and bombs as you can. 

The graphics in Inferno+ are very similar to Ballistic and Fireball, with loads of circular enemies, each distinguishable by their colors. The levels are also designed with neon boarders, and the animations for explosions are also very similar to those found in Fireball and Ballistic, only not as extravagant. The controls allow for a static and dynamic control stick as well as switching the move and fire arrangement. There are also sensitivity settings and you can set the joysticks and bomb and shield buttons anywhere on the screen, which is a fantastic addition. On top of this, you can also use the Joypad application and use another device as your controller. 
Even though there’s no scoring system, and no GameCenter leaderboard, I think Inferno+ might just be my favorite game from Radiangames. If there was a scoring system alongside the gameplay, Inferno+ would blow Radiangames previous titles, as well as loads of other dual stick space shooters, out of the water. But the game centering around exploration and upgrades kind of makes up for the lack of a scoring system. With Inferno+ being priced at $2.99, being Universal, and developed by Radiangames, who are fantastic with player feedback, and with supporting their releases, it’s hard not to support a development team as responsive as they are. If you’re a fan of dual-stick shooters or exploration games, Inferno+ will be right up your ally. If you’ve already purchased Radiangames previous releases, you’ll pretty much know what you can expect with Inferno+, but if you’re new to Radiangames, this would be a fantastic title to get to know them with. Chances are, it’ll wind up on my top 10 games of 2012 list, and never leave my devices. 

You can also download the soundtrack from Radiangame’s Bandcamp page

Expand It [FDG Entertainment] – $0.99

FDG Entertainment is responsible for bringing one of my favorite flash games, Clear Vision, to the iOS. Recently, they also brought Tentacle Wars, another popular flash game to the iPad. This week, they’re doing it again. Expand It, the popular flash game featured on has hit the iOS world thanks to one of our favorite publishers, FDG. Expand It falls into the physics puzzler genre, but thankfully, it’s not your typical run of the mill physics title. You need to make your expandable blocks reach a certain height by making them bigger as well as using the interesting objects found throughout the stages. 
My first glance at the screen shots, I was kind of disappointed, thinking that it was another one of those ‘take out the blocks so that one block hit’s the platform’ type games. Boy was I WAY wrong. Expand It is an original and very unique type of physics puzzler, something the AppStore needs to see more often. To complete each of the levels, you need to tap on certain shapes that are in the levels to make them grow, and to activate various objects and hazards. Once you have the solution, all you need to do is make sure that one of your blocks winds up above the rainbow line towards the top of the screen for a couple of seconds, and voila, on to the next one.
It may sound surprisingly easy, but once you get past the first couple of levels, finding out the solutions could take multiple tries while finding out what each of the blocks and hazards do, and what actually moves within the levels and what size you need to have each of the shapes reach at what given times. After you think you’ve got a handle on the whole layout of the game, it ramps up the difficulty again, always seeming to add something new and unique as you progress.
Expand It has 4 different environments, each with 15 stages, offering up 60 separate levels to complete. Each of these levels has a 3 star rating, which can be achieved depending on how quickly you complete the levels. This does add a bit of replay value to the game if you’re interested in competing on the Game Center leaderboard, besting your own scores, or completing each of the 19 achievements. The game also has empty worlds showing that more levels are coming in future updates, which is always great to hear, especially when it comes to physics puzzlers. 
As for the graphics, animations, and physics; Expand It has perfected each of these. The graphics are incredibly cute, well still remaining very polished, and the animations for each of the blocks only adds to the great feeling of the game. Each of the moving objects in a level have been done perfectly, making sure that not one of them throws the flow of the game off. The physics are done to perfection as well, as each object has a certain weight to it, and does a very good job projecting that weight through the gameplay, especially on the stages where you need to have blocks be a certain size at certain times in order to complete the stage. 
As with other FDG games, Expand It is very reasonably priced, with both the SD and HD versions costing $0.99. A Universal version would be ideal so that people could compete on the same leaderboard, but with the inclusion of HD Retina graphics, I’m actually wishing more and more games would resort to this method of sales, lowering the price for each version making a $2 game $0.99, but keeping the SD and HD versions separate, as all of that extra space for heightened graphics isn’t’ needed on the small screen devices, and usually winds up being seen as a giant waste of space. If you’re a fan of the physics puzzler genre, and are looking for something new and unique, Expand It is definitely a game to check out. And since it’s released by FDG, you know the production qualities, and updates for the game are going to be top-notch, making it very easy to recommend and support.