About To Blow Up Part 1 in Review – Adventure Game or Really Interactive Cartoon?

In the beginning it seemed like most of the adventure games popping up on the App Store were ports, but now we’re seeing more and more original IP make its way to the iOS platform.  About To Blow Up Part 1 is one such game, and it’s clear the developers have a heart for the genre they’ve embraced.  The game is quirky, interesting and above all fun. Unfortunately, it’s also a tad on the short side.  Thankfully it leaves you wanting more in a good way.

In About To Blow Up you play some no-name kid that aspires to be an assistant Hip Hop manager until he gets blown off by Mr. Sleez, the biggest name in the industry.  It’s at that life changing moment you realize you need to be number one, except you’ll have to go through Mr. Sleez to get there.  Now you’ll have to travel through several locations collecting items, solving puzzles and proving that you’re smarter than the average thug that Mr. Sleez hires.  I assume you’ll take on the main nasty at some point, though that doesn’t happen by the end of part 1.  You also have a rat like thing for a companion, which is a bit odd but sometimes amusing.

To move between locations you can use the handy green arrows that are provided for you, or simply tap on appropriate items in the screen like ladders or doorways.  Tap on an item to take it, or select an item in your inventory and select USE to make it the active item.  An item stays active until you select another one or click the X next to the item on the main screen.  Tap on a person to talk to them, and tap on an item on the screen to interact with it.  Basically, you tap to do anything.  It would be nice if some puzzles made use of the ability to drag your finger across the screen, or maybe even had some tilt capability.  Also, automatic deactivation of objects when clicking an arrow to move to another location would be great.  Overall, though, the controls work pretty decent.

The story is kind of silly, but that actually adds to the charm of the game.  And then there are the characters: it almost feels like a Tom and Jerry cartoon with people instead of animals… oh wait, there are animals too!  The whole thing is just zany and fun and it’s hard not to smile and maybe even chuckle a bit from time to time.  The puzzles are pretty sane for the most part, though a couple of them were a bit obscure and I did have to go back to the developer once or twice.  Still, the overall flow of the game was nice and steady and the majority of things could be reasoned out with at most a little bit of trial and error.

The graphics are quite interesting.  The beginning and ending animations are extremely well done, and everything feels like maybe early Hanna-Barbera / Warner Brothers in style.  The characters do a good job at standing out from each other, and tend to leave a lasting impression.  The sound effects are perfect and do a great job of emphasizing that this is a cartoon as much as a game.  I’d just love to hear some voices to go along with these characters.  The music is also well done.  Hip Hop isn’t really my specialty, but I’d say the music falls into what I might consider that genre.

About To Blow Up is a fun little adventure game.  Like most of its brethren that are based around original IP for the mobile device it’s a tad on the short side, but I was never bored nor did I feel cheated.  If anything, I can’t wait for part two to come out.  The atmosphere was great, it had a nice balance of sensible to “out there” puzzles, and the pacing was perfect.  I just hope episode two kicks it up a notch, simply because this is the type of game that deserves a sequel that’s even better than the first.

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: About To Blow Up Part 1 for iPadDeveloper: Facepuncher Worldwide
Reviewed Ver:Min OS Req:4.1
Price:$0.99App Size:
  • Amusing characters
  • Mostly reasonable puzzles
  • Cartoon quality visuals
  • Great sound effects
  • Nice music
  • Fairly short

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