What a delight, I’ve just had the pleasure of playing through Ragdoll Blaster from Backflip Studios and now I get to review it.
Basically this is a physics-based (courtesy of the Open Dynamics Engine) game where you blast ragdoll stickmen from a cannon and attempt to hit a target. Making this task a challenge is all manner of obstacles from simple blocks to surprisingly complex machines, all manipulated by yes you guessed it, firing stickmen at them! What, I say what is not to love about that? The art design is the neo-retro crayon style which has been popular with the recent crop of physics games. There’s just 1 BGM track but it’s a great one, a subtle rendition of Grieg’s ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’ and for whatever reason it just fits perfectly with the gameplay. Getting back to the gameplay, it’s definitely all about the physics. For example, between your cannon and the target might be a vertical wall of blocks. Well, you could launch a stickman just right so he clears the wall and lands on the target high-jump style or just plow right through it, yah! Some levels have a set solution but others have have a multitude due to the unpredictable interactions of all the objects. The controls work very well for this game; just touch the screen to launch a stickman. The further away you touch, the more momentum imparted from the blast and the more havoc potentially wreaked. It’s not all just wanton blasting though, far from it; finesse is a definite requirement for many levels, so much so that often it’s just the tip of a ragdoll foot that grazes the target for the win.
This game is nearly perfect in implementation for this platform and therefore I have only the slightest gripes, namely that the Menu and (especially) Reset options are too easy to hit accidentally in the middle of solving a level. Also I’d like to see the level number you’re on displayed in addition to the name. That’s about it, see I told you I didn’t have much to gripe about. As far as suggestions, just more…more more more of this great game. You get 73 levels for your money but they whiz by all too quickly (I finished in 1 sitting). The good part is your best scores are saved so there is replay value in trying to finish levels in the least number of moves. The developer has been doing some bonding with the community over on the TA forums so it seems extremely likely we’ll be seeing some solid updates and possibly even a level editor in the future.
Quick note, while there’s no lite version available, basically the exact same game you can try for free is Ragdoll Cannon. I’m confident that after you try that classic you’ll find this iPhone version as well worth the asking price as I do. What’s that, you want a little something more? The developer has sent along 2 promo codes so head to the comments section and get ‘em while they’re hot!