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Developer: Digital Goldfish
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Meet Max, a young boy who’s just found himself the proud owner of a cannon. Just why this young child has a real-life cannon is a mystery, and it’s not my place to judge the parental skills of others — but rest assured that a mixture of kid and cannon can only result in one thing. Destruction.

That’s just what the player will be aiming for in Max Damage. Adapted from an online flash game, the object is to fire a variety of balls from the cannon in order to achieve a set value of damage and proceed to the next level. The adaption from a non-touch based input method shows a little at times, there were certainly moments when a lack of precision in the control system stopped me destroying that final television. However, this is soon overcome by the ingenious progression of game mechanics.

Each of the levels spread through five chapters presents a new challenge, with a new approach required to do enough damage. Some times that’ll require a real precise shot, other times it means setting off a chain reaction of TNT or making shots in a particular order. But it’ll always feel fresh — even upon reaching the final chapter and feeling as though the game’s variations have been mastered, the removal of gravity flips a player’s previous conquests on their heads. This is a game that tackles a developers task of limiting repetitiveness in one of the best ways I’ve seen. Meaning Max Damage remains both fun and challenging to to the very final level.

Sometimes I found myself screaming at my iPhone because I couldn’t pull off a particularly demanding shot. Sometimes I was raising a clenched fist in air of success. And, sometimes I was wandering my home, humming the game’s super-catchy background music for hours on end. All of those times, however, I was thoroughly enjoying myself. On top of all that, there’s enough content of a sufficient difficulty to ensure everyone gets their money’s worth. Max Damage is a game that’s worth 19.4 MB of any iPhone’s memory, and certainly worth $0.99 from any iPhone user’s wallet, even if it can be played online for free.


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