Babel Rising Review

Babel Rising Review

Jan 4, 2012

Would you imagine that it’s possible to make a game about a God smiting humans as fast as possible without it being tasteless? Well, the team at Bulkypix took that challenge and have succeeded. Babel Rising is daring in concept, cute and hilarious in execution — pun intended.

In Babel Rising you play as a god, and the humans over which you rule have had enough. As in the biblical story of Babel, they decide to build a tower up to the heavens, to meet with you and ask what the deal is with life, the universe, and everything. But, you are a vengeful god and want none of that. So the goal of the game is to kill the humans before they can build their tower high enough to reach you in the sky. You have a variety of mystical powers at your disposal, all reminiscent of those events which we refer to as Acts of God. There is Lightning, Wind, Flood, a Rain of Fire, and Earthquakes. These all take varying amounts of time to load, you so must be strategic in your use of them. There is however also the Finger of God, which you can use to smite the humans one at a time. A simple tap and the little builder falls apart bloodlessly. Each of the other attacks have a specific gesture that commands it, and there is finally a bonus attack where you can destroy a level of the tower with one blast from the god’s eye. And again, you would assume that a game like this would verge into tasteless territory, but I’d have to say that your mileage on that will vary. The tiny humans are cute and merely look surprised when they fall apart or are swept away by a wave.

The developers have also made sure that the game will not get old quickly. There are four modes of play, and each is different. Classic is the version I mentioned above. Divine is the same game, but now Lightning is your fastest power, and you have the new power of the Burning Bush (lighting it sets the nearest humans on fire). The next option is Fury, and this time the workers are immune from some attacks, depending on their type. They are actually meant to be damned souls trying to escape from Hell, which explains why they might be resistant to lightning. And the final mode is Campaign. Each stage sets you with a specific goal to complete before you can advance to the next. An example is a countdown clock during which you have to smite as many humans as you can. You can also earn coins which you use to increase the strength and range of your attacks.

The coolest thing about the game, in my opinion, is the simple fact that no matter what the humans will get to the top. The game will just fill the screen with builders until the point that you simply cannot stop them from building. You can become incredibly skilled at slowing them down with your weapon use, but no matter what, the humans will eventually reach the top. Rather than being discouraging, it is instead exciting as you see how long you can hold them off for.

The game is a little buggy at times. On a few occasions it has thrown so many little men at me that it can’t render its own handiwork and freezes. I’ve lost entire game files to that error; the men were all frozen in place and I was unable to kill them. I was forced to begin a new game to get around it. very frustrating. In fact, as I was playing the game while writing this review the game froze and even after I exited, the music continued to play. It was a bit eerie, hearing the little builders continuing their word behind the scenes.

Fruit Roll Review

Fruit Roll Review

Nov 30, 2011

I love a game that has instructions in the title. Fruit Roll is a game wherein you are a piece of fruit, rolling along. As you go you collect stars and roll over opponents. It’s fantastically straight-forward – you don’t even control the speed or direction of the rolling. It’s very charming in its simplicity, and another favourite for playing on the bus.

Fruit Roll has no plot, but it really doesn’t need one. As mentioned, you play as a piece of fruit, and each stage begins with you rolling across the screen. You cannot stop rolling, but you are able to jump. Jumping allows you to target and collect stars along the path. There are various other (non-sentient) fruit along the path and collecting them has benefits. There are different obstacles/enemies along the way, and the type of fruit you are determines whether or not rolling into them will knock them off the screen or cause you to come to a teary-eyed halt. Collecting three fruit of the same kind is a combo and not only will you change into that fruit, but a giant, rampaging version of that fruit. You’ll destroy everything in your path and have a much better shot at grabbing stars since you’re four times your regular size. The combo will run out however and you will return to your original fruit size. Each level becomes more difficult as the incline down which you’re rolling increases and so you roll much faster and with less control over your movements – one wrong jump could send you flying into the hands of an angry monkey and end your turn abruptly.

I really like this game for its lack of story. The fruit does have and needs no motivation to run over the caterpillars and red frogs in its path. Snagging the stars as you fly across the screen is rather addictive, like the coins in Mario, and is motivation enough.

Running into an opponent that you are not classed to knock off screen causes you to “die” and you are back to the first stage with none of your stars to show for it. This is the game’s real weak spot, as the only gameplay mode you begin with is Adventure (continuous play). There is apparently a mini-game mode, but it can only be reached by collecting 10,000 stars. This would happen soon enough if dying didn’t completely erase your store of stars each time. At a certain point this can become frustrating enough that it dampens the enthusiasm needed to keep rolling along. The game is fun, but needs more reasons to keep coming back.