Buka in Review – ‘Sploding Baddies!

buka1“Buka makes stars go boom!” – The description given by the developers Hexage.net for their award-winning casual action game for the Android platform. As some people may categorize Buka as a shooter game, I categorize it under the castle defence genre like Chillingo’s Knights Onrush, with a much different variation in graphics and a slightly different concept.

As the story goes, Buka is a little blue planet traveling through space to find The Happy Place. It’s a long and treacherous journey with plenty of baddies, represented as evil glowing stars. It is your duty to protect her – Yes, Buka is a she – from the baddies by blowing them away.

The game offers one mode of progressive difficulty in levels. When you first meet Buka, she’s drifting through space. “Me journey to the HAPPY PLACE!” No explanation needed there, you’re to help her get to her destination. The tough part? There is a myriad of evil out to get her.

buka3Your job is to make them explode before they crash on Buka. Controls are straightforward; as Buka travels along, there will be enemies rushing towards her. A single quick tap creates a small shockwave force to either deter them or slow them down in the opposite direction.

A touch and hold will start a spark. The longer you hold it down, the larger the spark will become. Releasing the spark will cause an explosion to cause everything in the area around to “Boom!”, and I can tell you that Buka loves seeing baddies explode. Sounds easy enough, but that’s not all. Baddies also leave chunks that can hurt Buka, and because more and more of them appear as you progress further along, more mayhem occurs.

buka4Among the chunks that baddies leave behind, you’ll also find Green Pieces. These are immune to explosions and restore hit points to Buka if she eats them. Buka can be moved around the screen with your finger to help avoid baddies and catch green pieces. The game also offers tilt control as movement for the players with multitasking ability (I definitely know I can’t). The controls for the game are well implemented and fit perfectly with the iPhone and iPod Touch’s capabilities.

buka5Buka’s graphics are cute, virbrant and very well designed. It shows that the developers have put a lot of time into making the game an enjoyable experience. What’s more though, are the game sounds. For example, Buka speaks to the player with a very cute “plub plub” language. The background music is soft and creates a relaxed atmosphere that also fits great with the space theme.

Scoring in Buka is based on a few factors. Primary scoring is based on how many baddies you explode and how many green pieces you collect. Bonus points are awarded for exploding multiple baddies with one spark. At the end of each level, bonus points are also awarded for the number of baddies blown up, the number of sparks used to blow up baddies (Accuracy), and the number of baddies that crashed into Buka (Less is better!).  The game also saves your best score and game progress percentage, as well as the total number of baddies destroyed and total number of green pieces eaten.

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For some people, Buka will make a great addition to their game collection. For others, the single game mode may seem a bit repetitive. I won’t deny it, I absolutely love the graphics, sound and concept, but I’m also a fan of variation. Without more modes of play and and deeper gameplay elements, there’s not much incentive to keep coming back for more after you’ve seen your share of Baddies. Thus, I give it a Tap It rating. Regardless, for only $0.99, Buka is still a great buy and I recommend it to those who like a bit of fast paced action.

Note: A free version of Buka can also be downloaded, which includes 8 levels from the award-winning game for all to try.

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App Summary
Title:Buka (v1.0.6)Developer:Hexage.net
Price:$0.99App Size:11.6 MB
  • Clean and polished graphics.
  • Progressively challenging gameplay.
  • Sounds are very cute.
  • Not much replayability at the moment, only one game mode.
  • A bit repetitive.

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