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Developer: Backflip Studios
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

While Backflip Studios rule the top grossing charts with DragonVale, they’re going back to their first big hit, the Ragdoll Blaster franchise, with a new sequel. The game features the same basic gameplay as the previous 2 entries: launch Ragdolls out of a cannon, trying to hit a target. Levels involve elements like timing to hit the target at a certain point, launching multiple ragdolls to interact with objects, and just incredibly precise angles as well. The big new element in Ragdoll Blaster 3 is the addition of new elements and Ragdoll types. There are now ice Ragdolls that slide across icy surfaces easily – and levels are set up to exploit this. Gold buttons can be collected in the levels, and they’re part of the quest to get 3 stars. These represent a currency also available via IAP for the game, but they aren’t used for any gameplay-altering purposes; they only are used to unlock new Ragdoll designs.

The visual style in each Ragdoll Blaster game has dramatically changed; where the first game used a doodle style, the second game had a steam punk aesthetic, Ragdoll Blaster 3 has a more cartoony and colorful style. The Ragdolls are no longer just, well, rag dolls, they actually have some character to them. It’s just an infinitely more visually appealing experience. The new environmental effects and different ragdolls make for interesting and exciting new puzzles that leave the game feeling very fresh, even compared to its predecessors. Also, the game actually has 4 stars that can be earned per level – by launching a maximum number of ragdolls, collecting all the gold buttons, and finishing under a certain time, a fourth star for each level can be unlocked. The parameters are clear, and having something to mix up the now-traditional three star system is somewhat refreshing!

While the game is available for iPhone/iPod touch and iPad, the game doesn’t feature any kind of save game synchronization, and the iPad version isn’t universal. The core gameplay is the same as the first two games, so for those not enamored with earlier entries, this one may not necessarily win them over, though the new elements are a great way to get reacquainted with the series – or for newcomers to get into it. The high-pitched voices of the ragdolls in the cutscenes between each world are extremely grating. Be ready on the volume switch!

Ragdoll Blaster 3 is a great return to a franchise that laid relatively dormant over the past couple of years. The heart of the game is as addictive as ever, and the new envrionmental aspects are great additions. Physics puzzlers fans need to check this out.

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