Developer: Backflip Studios
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

The latest in a virtual slew of recent releases from Blackflip Studios, Ferno is yet another reflex-testing score-chaser. Sure they can be a dime a dozen in the App Store these days, but at the very least this one is quite visually appealing.

FernoIn a roundabout sort of way, Ferno actually plays rather similarly to another finger-dragging score attack I reviewed recently: Galactikitties. But this time, instead of building up a Katamari-like pile of cosmic cats, players collect balls of fire streaking from interstellar vortices while avoiding the dark energy projectiles. Releasing pressure on the growing ball of fire detonates it, destroying nearby projectiles and scoring extra points for them.

Like most games of this type, the gameplay is organized in a series of waves that players need to successively endure. I assume each wave consists of a set number of vortices that need to be cleared before the next wave is triggered, but there’s no sort of UI element to indicate how much remains of each level. While not a huge issue, it’s a small bit of functionality that is missed.

The interface in general is actually pretty minimal, leaving all of the focus on Ferno‘s energetic visuals. For a game that has relatively little going on graphically, it manages to be strikingly pretty while doing so. Sparks of astral fire flicker and dance across the screen and the color palate, while limited, is vibrant and rich.

FernoThe only real issues I had with Ferno were its relative lack of depth (some additional modes would have been a boon to replayability for those of us who don’t have a burning desire to top the leaderboards) and the frequency of the full-screen promotional ads. Still, the game is free of in-app microtransations, so I can tolerate the occasional splash ad for Hearthstone.

Hopefully Backflip will add some more content to this one down the road, because I really would love an excuse to watch some more space fire in motion. But regardless, Ferno is another decent addition to their catalog of quality releases.


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