Original Review: Detonate! In Review – It’s A Real Blast!
There are a lot of casual games in the App Store nowadays. One of the biggest trends being versions of successful browser/flash based games being retooled to run on your iDevice. As usual, some hit and some miss, but the formula is generally proven to be somewhat successful. From developers eTicket Apps comes the explosive Detonate!, a demolition style game filled with bars, beams and bombs. Read on to see if Detonate! blew up, or fizzled out.
As graphics go, Detonate! has kept it simple. Too simple unfortunately. The background doesn't change from its static blurred buildings. Not necessarily a bad choice, but after realising that the image is the same one from the main page, as well as subsequent menu pages, it just looks like a short-cut.
The actual game pieces are nothing more than simple rectangles that have been coloured differently to signify which is wood or steel. In fairness to the steel, there are actually a couple colours mixed in as well as 3 dots (rivet holes I assume). The main piece you are trying to move around, rather than being similar to the other pieces, is a neon green rectangle. Normally I wouldn't care about any of this. Having played numerous flash based games that are similar in design/style, these shortcuts are common. My issue with that is, in a market where $0.99 rules the roost, you can't come in with a lackadaisical attempt like this.
Graphics aside, the game plays very well. The main goal of the game is to get your green piece to make contact with the other green line on the screen, a simple idea that was executed well. To play/control the game you use the buttons that are spread out along the screen you tap to select a fuse length (seconds till explosion), explosion type and then tap and drag to place. Very fluid and easy to get used to. If you had any question about one of the buttons, just go to the home screen, tap the tutorial link and all controls will be explained to you.
Another great feature of the game is its levels. Rather than slap together 5-10 levels and call it a day, they actually put together 30 different levels for you. All those levels, along with the increase in difficulty as you progress is what makes this game fun and addictive. You can spend forever trying to figure out what combination of types/placements of bombs is the right one to get the job done.
In the end I have to say that I was not as impressed as I thought I was going to be with this game. Although I definitely liked the concept, and the execution was really well done, I just didn't like the fact that they seemed to have spent all their time putting the pieces together and not enough time making the pieces pretty. If you think you might like a game like this, I would recommend trying the "lite" version of the app first.