Full on destruction games are kind of a niche genre within the AppStore, there’s really only a couple of titles that I can think of using destruction as a core mechanic, Destructopus, Robot Rampage, and to a lesser extent, Blast Zone Mega, and Burn The City, which is really more in the line of an Angry Birds type physics puzzler, but you get the idea. It’s not a genre that’s been well expanded on. Andrew Wang, and Ayopa Games (W.E.L.D.E.R., Chicken Rescue) are giving us one more title to add to that very short list. Inspired by the classic arcade game, Rampage, and taking influences from The Simpsons and Futurama, as well as trying to incorporate the customization of Mechwarrior, BigBot Smash is now available for our iDevices, and fingertips that are hungry for destruction.
To start it off, the controls in BigBot Smash will take quite a bit of getting use to, but once you do, even more problems show their face. There are two different control schemes included in the game. The first control method uses the iDevice’s accelerometer, tilting to turn the world that you’ll be destroying. This can be extremely difficult to use, as you’ll need to turn your device completely around to turn your robot around, and tilt it in pretty uncomfortable ways to turn. Tapping on the screen controls your robots projectiles, and tapping on the robot will make it jump. If you tap on a building that is close to the robot, it will smash it with it’s fists. Here’s where it gets even more difficult. If the building is just a little bit too far away, you’ll shoot at it instead of smashing it, which takes up quite a bit of time, which can be pretty frustrating in the Speedrun Mode, but outside of the Speedrun Mode, it’s just bothersome. Tapping on your robot also does not always make it jump, sometimes it will jump, and other times it will destroy the building right in front of it. There are touch controls as well, which have the same sort of issues as the tilt controls, except you won’t be tilting your device in uncomfortable ways, instead, you’ll be dragging your finger on the screen to change the robot’s direction. However, this also has it’s own issues, as more than half of the time, dragging your finger across the screen is registered as a tap, and will result in the robot shooting it’s projectiles. It’s not so bad that you won’t be able to play the game, but once you hit stage 4 in the campaign mode, and the game gets a little more hectic, you’ll be constantly wanting to turn the game off out of frustration. The same goes for the speed demolition and survival challenge modes, once the game reaches that point where the action picks up, the controls become a real issue.
The graphics are decent enough, and the draw distance is great, especially considering how many objects are on the screen at one time. Even after you destroy a couple buildings, and the debris is laying all over the ground, the draw distance hardly suffers at all, which is very surprising.
If you can look past these, especially the control issues, which could be fixed in an update, BigBot Smash does have quite a bit of fun gameplay at it’s core. Using three different robots, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, you’ll smash buildings, blow up buses, police cars, squish people by walking on them or jumping onto them, and shoot them with your lasers, which will give you a nice little laugh when the sound effects for this go off, and you can hear the people scream when they die. In the campaign mode, you’ll need to destroy buildings, looking for pieces of your robot girlfriend. Within most of the buildings are parts that you can use to upgrade parts on your robot, along with some power-ups, and recharging items. In the speed demolition, you’ll need to destroy a set amount of buildings before the clock runs out, and in survival mode, you guessed it, you stay alive as long as you can. Both of these extra modes will have you collecting bits and pieces to upgrade your robots as well, but are not saved or transferred over to the campaign robot, so you’ll start from scratch every time you start to play in these modes.
For $0.99, it’s not a bad game by any means. The controls can be worked with, and might actually just have so many issues if you’re playing on a small screen. Gameplay videos on the iPad show the game in a completely different light, and since the game is Universal, you won’t need to buy an HD version to find out. There are GameCenter leader boards, though only for Survival and Speed modes, but do have 48 achievements to try and grab. There is quite a bit of replay value, and the core gameplay looks like it could be great fun. But until an update hits with some tighter controls, it’s hard to really give the game a fair play on my small screen, but I’m excited about having the opportunity to.
RGB Defense is a new arcade game from Red Winter Software, it is also their first release in the AppStore. In the game, you’ll need to drag cannons around the bottom of the screen, matching their color with the color of the enemies coming down at you in waves from the top of the screen. It might sound simple, and in the beginning it is, but at level 5, you’re not just moving around red, green, and blue cannons, purple and yellow come into the mix, and you’ll be shuffling around 5 different colored cannons while a mass invasion of quick enemies comes barreling down at you. Needless to say, it can get pretty hectic, and drive you crazy.
There are different types of enemies, some that stay in one lane, and only need one hit to be taken out, others that change which lane their in pretty quickly, and others that require multiple hits, and change color after being hit. This mix up of enemies adds quite a bit of extra challenge to the already pretty challenging game. Though with the amount of enemies, how quickly they come at you, how long it takes for a cannon to fire once you get it where you want it, and the cannons sometimes getting stuck in the right corner because of un-responsive controls, it feels like getting past level/wave 7 and anything afterwards is pretty much only accomplished with luck instead of skill.
There are a couple of power-ups that you’ll be ableto get by killing enemies. Health drops, bombs that clear out the screen and hourglasses which slow down the enemies for a very short period of time. There’s also stars that the enemies sometimes drop, and these add to your score.
The graphics, animations, and sound is all nicely done, making it a good looking arcade shooter game. But the sometimes unresponsive controls, seemingly laggy cannon fire, and the very quick jump in difficulty throughout the game make it pretty frustrating. Also, if you do manage to get the controls and timing down, there is no online support, so your scores will end up stuck on your device, for your eyes only. Though with the game only being $0.99, I don’t really consider it a waste of money. It does have quite a bit of potential. Once the control issues are fixed, GameCenter or OpenFeint is added, and the amount of time it takes for a cannon to shoot once you get it into place is sped up a bit, the difficulty level might not need to be changed. Also, if more than one mode is added in the future, this could turn into a very well rounded game.
However, we really won’t know until the game is worked on a bit more, and with the release your game and disappear if it doesn’t sell well dealings of the AppStore, we might never know. Hopefully Red Winter Software won’t give up or get discouraged, because this could turn into an awesome hectic arcade game. We will definitely be keeping our eyes on this one with the hopes that Red Winter Software is in it for the long haul.
You can check out the game on the developers website in the Unity Player, but keep in mind that it responsiveness of controlling with your mouse does not transfer over to the touch screen just yet.
RGB Defense gets a score of 2 out of 5. But we will keep you updated if the game is updated, and could possibly end up re-scoring this one.
Devourer is a new drag-collect-dodge arcade game from Li Min, in the same vein as Bit Pilot and Runaway UFO, but with more emphasis on collecting objects than dodging them, though the dodging element is still there. In Devourer, you’ll drag a black hole around the screen, sucking up all the green, blue, and yellow invaders, while avoiding the red ones. It’s a very simple game, but once you get into it, and understand the scoring, and start using the items in the shop, it becomes very addicting, and really, a very nice little arcade game.
The controls are set up nicely, using relative touch to control the black hole, meaning you can place your finger anywhere on the screen in order to drag the black hole around the screen. This makes it easier to see all the invaders around your black hole, and a whole lot more comfortable.
There are two different game modes in Devourer, Classic, and Survival. In Classic Mode, you’ll drag your black hole around the screen collecting the “normal”, or blue, invaders, which there are two different kinds, a regular invader, worth 20 points, and a type of super invader, worth 80 points, “bonus”, or green, invaders, which add 1 to your multiplier, and “bomb”, or yellow, invaders, that blow up everything on the screen. There’s also red, or “toxic” invaders. If you hit one of these, they will reset your multiplier, and drop you 100 points, along with coins that randomly appear on the screen, and give you 5 gold points. You’ll have 2 minutes to try and get the highest score you can, and can not die before the 2 minutes is up.
In Survival Mode, you’ll have all the same types of invaders, along with the random coins, and the goal is to not let any blue invaders escape the screen, and to not hit any red invaders. If you hit a red invader, or miss a blue invader before it disappears off the side of the screen, you’ll loose a life, and have 3 lives total. The amount of time you survive is your high score.
Both Modes let you use spells. Within the store, you can buy these spells, which can be equipped in the hotspots on the right side of the screen. Some of these include Shrink, which makes all of the invaders 30% smaller, Freeze, which slows down all the invaders, Slack, which reduces the rate of invaders by half, and many more. These power-up type spells will help out greatly when trying to achieve a high-score, though there are only a couple that will really, really get that high-score up when combined. For instance, I like to use Burst, which doubles the amount of invaders, Bless, which destroys all Toxic invaders, and prevents more from being spawned, and Double, which doubles the points. Using all 3 of these together will usually shoot your score up about 250,000 points, or more depending on when you use them. Each of the spells has a set amount of time that it will last, and you can only use the spells once after you buy them. This adds quite a bit of strategy to the gameplay, as you’ll need to find out what spells work best for your style of play, and when to use them.
The graphics in Devourer are done pretty well. There are movement animations for each of the invaders, making it look like they’re swimming through space. Along with the rock type soundtrack, it’s all got a pretty nice atmosphere. Considering this game comes from the same developer of Tap Burst, I’d say it’s quite a step up from the previous game, and has given me pretty high hopes for the future of Li Min.
With GameCenter and OpenFeint support, 2 leader boards, and 21 achievements that will take you quite a bit of time to unlock, and the two different game modes, Devourer has endless replay ability. The scoring system is set up very nicely, and the addition of the shop and toxic invaders add quite a bit of strategy to the game. It could use a bit more polish, and maybe more items in the shop, along with more enemy types, but for $0.99, it’s a great buy, packed with loads of action, and will give you hours upon hours of addictive gameplay.
Acid Rain is a new swipe/tap casual arcade game from Bal Rokko. There’s only one game mode to play at the moment, called Flower. In Flower Mode, you need to tap or swipe on the drops of acid rain coming down from the sky, in waves towards the flowers, while trying to not hit the good drops of rain, or the lightning drops, which kill a flower if you hit them, letting them go down into the ground. The game is over when the gauge on the left side of the screen fills up with acid drops as they hit the ground, or if you hit 3 lightning drops, killing all 3 flowers.
The scoring in Acid Rain is extremely good, you get one point for each drop of acid rain that you tap to pop, but if you swipe through the drops of acid rain without lifting your finger off of the screen, you get a combo score. After swiping through 10 drops, your score will double, and goes up with each 10 drops that you swipe through in succession. Hitting a regular drop of rain while in the middle of a combo resets it to zero, so you really need to be careful not to hit the blue drops of rain coming down. Having a perfect combo swipe gets you 3 stars at the end of the level, which is 10 points for the first star, 25 for the second, and 100 for the third, all added together. So, for instance, in the first wave, if you swipe through all 8 acid rain drops, you’ll get 8 points, then because of the combo, you’ll get 3 stars, which will add up to be 135 points. Add on the 8 points for the acid drops, and you’ll have 143 points. You also get points for each flower that survives each storm, and this score also goes up as you progress through the storms. So a lot of work has gone into making Acid Rain a game that’s really focused on combos and high scoring.
There’s also power-ups that really help you build your score. One power-up is a rainbow that goes all the way across the screen, and turns each raindrop that goes through it into a rainbow drop. Popping each of these adds to your combo bonus, as well as gives you 10 points per drop popped, and is a great way to make your score skyrocket. Another power-up is a 500 point ball that you just need to swipe through or tap on to get. These 500 point balls are also multiplied by your current drop multiplier. So if you’re swiping through drops, and you’re on your 35th drop, and then swipe through the 500 point ball, it’ll be multiplied by 4 making it 2000 points, all of this, again, adding a ton to the scoring mechanics of Acid Rain.
The addition of GameCenter also helps drive this high-scoring affair, and adds quite a bit to the replayability of the game. However, there are no achievements, which would have been very nice to see in this game, considering you’re getting huge combos, big scores, and an insane number of rain drops while moving through wave after wave and storm after storm.
The graphics in Acid Rain are great, very vibrant, even though you’re mainly playing in the rain and the sky is usually grey, the rainbow, rainbow drops, and green and blue rain drops really pop when they’re set against the grey background. The flowers also dance while you’re playing, and really are quite cute. The animation of the rain popping is really good as well, and there’s a line that follows your finger as you swipe across the screen. Some levels also include a wind mechanic that makes the rain drops swing back and forth. All of this really adds to the atmosphere and great polished look of the game. It is retina display supported, but not Universal.
All-n-all, Acid Rain is a solid casual arcade game that’s good for gamers of all skill levels, and all ages. Later in the game it gets pretty challenging, as they throw in 2 acid drops per row of rain, and I’m assuming there’s 3, eventually, but I haven’t gotten that good at it yet. It’s very polished, and there’s more content to come with future updates, which I’m really excited about. Especially the addition of the next game mode. At $0.99, it’s a great buy, and isn’t going to be deleted from my device any time soon.
Dust Those Bunnies is a new swiping arcade game from Gamers Rejoice. In it, you’ll be sweeping as many dust bunnies into a dust pan as you can in a certain amount of time while trying to avoid bomber bunnies and using power-ups. I should mention that this game was made using GameSalad. But it is one of only a couple GameSalad games that actually runs well on my 4th Gen Touch. In fact, I didn’t even know it was made using GameSalad until I read it on the Touch Arcade Forums. The load times are not bad at all, and the controls are nice, tight and responsive.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Dust Those Bunnies is the graphics. They’re black and white and look like a classic old film. They are done very well, and this decision to look like an old movie adds quite a bit to the polish of the game. The music sounds great, and with no sound effects, it adds even more to the feel of old silent films. There’s also a hidden sepia toned look for the game. We’re given two different game modes, one called Wage War, in which you’re given power-ups and 1:45 to get as many dust bunnies into the dust pan as you can. The other mode is called Commando, in this mode you’re given 1 minute with no power-ups to get as many dust bunnies into the dust pan as you can. Both modes are pretty challenging as you’ll need to keep an eye out for bomber bunnies that don’t look too different from the regular bunnies you’ll be sweeping up; one of their ears is a wick, and they have a different facial expression. You’re aloud to get of the bombers bunnies into the dust pan before they blow it up, and each one you do get into the pan takes away 25 points. If you manage to sweep them to the side of the pan, you’ll get 8 points.
The scoring system is pretty nice. You get one point for each small bunny you can swipe into the dust pan, two for medium bunnies, and 4 for big bunnies. If you sweep more than one bunny into the pan at a time, you’ll get an extra point for each bunny. For instance, if you sweep 4 bunnies into the pan at once, you’ll get 4 points, one for each, plus 4 points for the combo bonus, totaling 8 points. In Wage War Mode, there’s power-ups that will help you a lot with scoring, but that are clearly harder to get into the dust pan than the bunnies, being heavier and disappearing after a short time. There’s a disco ball, with which you’ll get 10 points for every bunny you sweet into the pan, plus the regular bonus points for sweeping more than one bunny in at a time. There’s also a dust buster power-up which will pick up every bunny you drag your finger over, including the bomber bunnies. Micro fiber cloths will help you out by making all the bunnies follow your finger, and a pocket watch will add 15 seconds to the timer. There’s also various items which will give you 10, 15, and 50 points.
Sweeping the bunnies into the dust pan isn’t as easy as it sounds. You need to get the speed just right. Going too fast will leave bunnies behind your finger, and going too slow will cause them to go in all sorts of different directions. In the loading screen before playing it says “This is sweeping, slow and steady sweeps will win the war.“, and it couldn’t be more true.
There are unlockables in the game as well. You can get new brooms, which unlock depending on how many total sweeps you’ve made, and each make it easier to sweep more bunnies into the dust pan. New enemies, each with a different maneuvering mechanic, are unlocked when you get a certain amount of total bunnies into the pan, and then there’s new areas to sweep on, each with different textures, and are unlocked based on how many total games you’ve played. You’ll also be able to unlock new music tracks as you progress through the game, and there’s in-game medals to try and snag as well. All of this adds a lot to the replay value of the game, as do the GameCenter leaderboards, One for both of the game modes.
With all of the content in Dust Those Bunnies, it’s a great game to get for $0.99. This is the introductory price, and I’m guessing the regular price will be $1.99. It hasn’t been said when the price will go up, but I’m guessing it will be like most introductory prices and go up about one week from the release date, which was August 25. It’s a pretty original game, which is something we don’t see too often in the AppStore these days, and it’s presented in a very professional manner. Given that it was made with GameSalad makes it even slightly more impressive. If casual arcade games that can be played by hardcore gamers as well is something you’re into, Dust Those Bunnies will be a great game to pick up. For me, it’s joining the ranks of Tiny Wings, Kosmo Spin, and other great casual games that bring along quite a hefty challenge. The only things I would love to see in the future is maybe another game mode, something like Endless Mode, mixing all of the different types of bunnies, the in-game achievements moved to GameCenter, and some more obstacles blocking your sweeping paths in the different environments you can unlock. Other than that, there’s not much room for improvement with this quality title from Gamers Rejoice.
Zombie Slaughter is a new swiping action game from Tapkee Games. In it, you will fight wave after wave of zombies. You’re given 3 difficulties, Easy, Medium, and Hard. On Medium and Hard Modes, you’ll need to figure out strategies to take out the hordes of zombies in order to beat the game, but in Easy mode, you can pretty much just learn the movements, and how to play the game without too much of a challenge.
There is no story in the game, and very little environmental change. As you progress through the levels of 3 waves each, the platforms you can jump on will grow, but apart from that, you won’t see much different between the levels. There’s 1 health pick-up for each wave you’ll go through, and once you reach level 2, you’ll be able to pick up a sword and slice away at the zombies for a limited amount of swipes. This lack of story, or extra modes can put some people off of the game, especially since there’s no online leaderboards, achievements, and actually, no scoring system at all.
This lack of content could very well be the downfall of the game. Which is sad, because Tapkee Games has built up a very decent base for a game. The rag doll physics work extremely well with the animations, and gravity + swipe physics of the game, and the random zombie spawning leads to different types of gameplay with each and every game. But it’s plat former aspect also makes me wish that the developer would have added some virtual buttons along with the current swipe controls, and Zombie Slaughter could also use some power-ups and maybe even a shop. If all of this was added, Tapkee Games would have one hell of a game on their hands.
The lack of content can be overlooked by the amazing, addictive, action-filled gameplay, but not for too long. The developer has realized this, and has mentioned on the Touch Arcade Forums that he will be adding more content, different environments, achievements, item-drops and more weapons, as well as an endless mode.
The game, right now, is $0.99, the perfect price for a “let’s check it out” kind of attitude, and it is worth checking out. The developer has given me 5 promo codes to share with our readers, so if you’re slightly interested in the game, and are one of the first to be reading this review, you can try and snag one of ‘em;
I am looking forward to future updates, and hope that this game gets more content. As it is now, I’m going to give it a rating of 2.5/5, but it has the potential to be a 4 or even 5 star game if the developer keeps working on it like he’s promised. Here’s hoping this game doesn’t fall into the huge bundle of games that have been forgotten by developers over the years.