Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 3GS
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I've always had a love for touch-based games that ask me to tap appearing objects or enemies as quickly as possible as they appear on screen. I'm not sure why - I think it's because I'm always better at them than my friends. Winning is always good. Blast Radius takes this simple idea, but changes the tapping to blasting, and adds a bunch of other game mechanics and ideas on top.
A spacestation sits in the center of the screen, waves of enemies approach and must be disposed of before hitting the station's shields. To do so the player must touch the screen, at which point a 'blast radius' starts to grow from the point of contact - the larger the blast, the more enemies it can kill in the area. However, it'll also use more energy, which takes time to recharge.
The other big part of the game is the upgrade system. Players earn points throughout a game, to be be spent on improving shields, blasts and energy reserves. There's also the ability to repair shields, as once they're gone the next hit signals 'game over'. The cash earned resets after each game, and the only difference between the free and paid-for versions of Blast Radius is that paid customers start with 1,000 each game. Which is where my biggest gripe comes in; by way of the 'in-app purchase' system a player can buy points and get an immediate advantage over other players. The ability to pay and win, so-to-speak, is a real downer in a game that's based on leaderboards - especially when the inclusion of Game Center works so flawlessly.
If you just want a bit of fun, it's certainly very much worth the $0.99 asking price. The gameplay is good fun and the upgrades and economy sides of the game add something new to this genre, and it works very well. But, the more competitive players may get a little frustrated by the in-app purchases. It seems a subject that iOS game developers still haven't quite got their heads completely around, yet.