Oct 24, 2011
Physics-based games on the Android Market are a dime a dozen. There, I said it. And yet, despite their ubiquity, I still enjoy them for a brief time. They offer a simple, proven gameplay mechanic that you can’t help but get into with very little effort. However, when you come across a game that isn’t too novel when compared to similar games, you have to ask for a little more originality. If nothing else, polish and presentation is of the utmost importance. While not a terrible game, Ragdoll Blaster finds itself lacking just such qualities.
From the beginning, Ragdoll Blaster requires you to log into your Mobage account, if you have one. If not, you are simply locked-out of the game until you create one. The social gaming network gives you the ability to connect with friends and compare scores, but the lack of option to use the network seems arrogant. It also requires an internet connection, making this game even less attractive to those who don’t have or don’t want to use their 3G connections while away from a WiFi router. Of course, the game also takes the liberty of installing a shortcut to Mobage right on your home screen. It’s excessive and invasive, but it’s required if you want to play this game. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s fair, considering that this is a free game, but it doesn’t sit well with me, at all.
Beyond the odd requirements, the game is a fun, but standard, physics-based game. Your goal is to fire as few ragdolls as possible from a canon in the attempt to hit a target set somewhere on the screen. It’s a slightly different gameplay mechanic, as opposed to knocking over obstacles or crashing structures for points. Sometimes, you have to hit a moving target while other times you have to act quickly, setting up moving set pieces that open a gap or move the target to a place where you can hit it. Ragdoll Blaster shifts back and forth from being all about precision aiming to patient timing and skills.
Aiming and controlling your shots couldn’t be easier. Simply touch the screen to aim, set velocity and fire a ragdoll, all at the same time. The game even marks your last shot, making it easier to make minor adjustments in case you miss the first time. However, the mark remains, even after you reset the level. This means that you can easily get the lowest score on a level just by restarting and firing again. With just over 100 levels, you might find yourself burning through the game in an hour or two, assuming you don’t come up against a level you simply can’t figure out.
Ragdoll Blaster has little to offer fans of this style of gameplay that they haven’t seen elsewhere. The simplistic visuals might be easier on older Android devices, but it doesn’t help the game compete with better games in the same genre. Given the odd requirements and lack of polish, this is a free game you can afford to miss.