Developer: Big Pixel Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.01
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

BottleCapBlitz-5Bottle Cap Blitz from Big Pixel Studios is a curious little game, in the way that unwraps over time changes the game dramatically.

It starts out simple enough: players flick bottle caps at ice cubes in the air by tappng on the screen to launch in that direction, or holding down to call up an aiming arrow. Then, things get a bit more complex, as combos are introduced, and with it the combo meter that increases as consecutive combos are made. These are all earning coins for new bottle caps and experience points that bring in new gameplay elements, such as the frozen fruit that enable bullet time, explode all the ice cubes on screen, or other helpful effects.

BottleCapBlitz-3Then, the pebbles, which cause the player to lose points, get introduced. Finally, the coins’ true purpose is unveiled: it’s possible to spend them on boosts to get more time, additional frozen fruit, or one of three other helpful effects. What once seemed like an almost zen-like gameplay experience has suddenly become quite more involved, in a similar way to what Fruit Ninja did, the difference being that this game evolves over minutes, not years.

Now, here’s the thing: I liked the game a lot better as the far more zen game of throwing bottle caps at ice cubes and making combos, as opposed to the more involved affair that it becomes once the pebbles and boosts get involved. What was once a challenging yet relaxing game stresses the player out with obstacles to avoid and a currency system to balance out. Yes, I know it’s 2013 and trying to make money from IAP is the standard practice now, but watching the way this game progresses, and how the model starts to negatively affect the game; this is what those who rant against IAP are talking about. They don’t completely ruin the game, it just feels a bit sour.

But the mechanic is still just a lot of fun to play with at its raw core, and there’s still plenty of enjoyment to be had in the decadent features. While trying to take screenshots I found myself replaying the game trying to get my score over one thousand points, so there is definitely something compelling there. Perhaps it’d be better without the extra trappings, but as a metaphor for IAP as a whole: it’s still fun even with it. Don’t let that be a dissuading factor.

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