148 Apps on Facebook 148 Apps on Twitter

Tag: Physics puzzler »

Toy Story: Smash It! Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on February 28th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: COLORFULLY ENTERTAINING
You've got a friend in this highly enjoyable if slightly easy physics puzzle game.
Read The Full Review »

Briquid Review

By Angela LaFollette on February 22nd, 2013
An addicting and challenging physics puzzler that's not for the faint of heart.
Read The Full Review »

Megamassive Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on February 6th, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: WEIRD SCIENCE
Liquids, gases, and solids all have their time to shine in this physics-heavy puzzle game.
Read The Full Review »

Little Inferno Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on February 1st, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: BURN ALL THE THINGS
The only thing more alarming than the sick and twisted world of Little Inferno is just how much fun it is to play in.
Read The Full Review »

Green Jelly HD Review

iPad App - Designed for iPad only
By Jennifer Allen on December 19th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FIENDISH FLINGING
Green Jelly is a particularly tough yet enjoyable physics puzzler. Don't expect to finish it fast!
Read The Full Review »

Bunny Cannon Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on December 10th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: WASCALY
Bounce baby bunnies into baskets for... well, more babies, I guess.
Read The Full Review »

Lazy Raiders Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on November 29th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: TILT TO LOUNGE
If all archaeologists simply waited for the discoveries to come to them our museums would be awfully empty. Thankfully the idea works much better as an iOS game.
Read The Full Review »

Atomic Frogs Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on November 16th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: RIBBIT-RIBBIT-BANG!
Launch exploding mutant frogs at robots and large buttons in this creative take on physics hurling.
Read The Full Review »

Slice the Ice Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Rob Rich on October 28th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: KINDA SQUIRRELY
Adorable arctic vermin and loads of glacier cutting don't entirely make up for 80% of the content hiding behind a pay wall and a surprisingly awful framerate.
Read The Full Review »

Swing Shot Review

By Carter Dotson on October 27th, 2012
The only thing more fun than commanding swinging animals to throw things at other animals is when the other animals are being controlled by a live person.
Read The Full Review »

King Oddball Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on October 5th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: SIMPLY GREAT
Simple to look at, a simple purpose and simple one touch controls ensures that King Oddball is simply great fun.
Read The Full Review »

Jumpster Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Jennifer Allen on September 26th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: QUIRKY FUN
Jumpster is a fairly enjoyable physics puzzler game but it's a little too keen to sell in-app purchases.
Read The Full Review »

Cosmic Bump Review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Carter Dotson on September 17th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: PINBALL WIZARD?
Chillingo's latest physics puzzler adds in a dash of pinball to make this game stand out.
Read The Full Review »

Puzzle-Rocket Review

By Angela LaFollette on September 5th, 2012
Bounce the aliens to safety in this challenging indie physics puzzler that’s fun for all ages.
Read The Full Review »

Blast-A-Way Review

Posted by Carter Dotson on August 31st, 2012
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Developer: Illusion Labs
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Game Controls Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

[rating:overall]

Blast-A-Way is the newest title from Illusion Labs, who are known for their visually-stimulating titles like Labyrinth 2, and the Touchgrind series. Now, they’re entering the realm of physics puzzlers. Players control robots who need to use bombs to get to the exit. The bombs come with different properties: some just blow up, others can pick up the color of the block that they bounce off of, and others can teleport the player to a block of the same color. However, they can’t just go around blowing things up all willy-nilly, as bombs can only interact with blocks of the same color. As well, they need to save the tiny boxies, little baby robots that are stuck in the blocks and often in perilous positions.

Portal fans will get a kick out of the game, and not just becuase there are portals involved. The puzzles have a very similar feel, players use the environment to get to the goal. While there are fewer reflex-based challenges, trying to collect the boxies does add a degree of difficulty. The sparse environments help with that similarity as well, though the splashes of color keep things from feeling stale.

The 3D nature of Blast-A-Way made me curious as to how precise one could be in the environment, and actually, the game is structured well enough to where it’s not a problem. In general, the boxies won’t go flying off to their doom if the player is doing something right. Whether this is the invisible hand of Illusion Labs’s engine ensuring this or just really well-done design, it does give the player some confidence that the boxies will only be doomed if the player explicitly messes up.

The controls can be a challenge to deal with, but I fault them in no way. With a touchscreen involved, they seem like the best method of control. Players tap and hold on a block or place on screen to target, and then let go at the desired angle. Drawing a line from the robot moves it to its proper location; it cannot fall off of ledges just by moving. Dragging on a piece of the level moves the view around, and dragging around outside the level rotates the view, with pinch-zooming, and two-finger vertical swiping to control the view height. Occasionally, adjusting the view or targeting a certain spot is problematic, and I did make some accidental mistakes because of these somewhat-complex controls. But, given the relative complexity of these controls, I can’t blame the game too much. IT ultimately does its job, and the controls are consistent.

Blast-A-Way has plenty of outright brilliant moments, and it’s sublime when a puzzle comes together just perfectly. Illusion Labs has a great feel for how iOS games should work, and it’s in effect here with Blast-a-Way.