Ragdoll Blaster 2


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Ragdoll Blaster 2 Review

When it comes to object-launching physics games, Ragdoll Blaster is the cream of the crop. In this sequel, Backflip Studios improved the fantastic original in many ways, making Ragdoll Blaster 2 the best of its kind on the App Store.

The most important aspect of Ragdoll Blaster 2 is the level design, and this game doesn’t let us down. In order to shoot your ragdoll into a target, you must figure out how to solve a puzzle. One of our favorites involved using ragdolls to push a box containing a target between two massive hammers. You then hit a button and they swing together, shattering the target’s case and allowing you to finish the level. Another involves turning a gear to spin wheels, which will ‘grind’ a ragdoll between them and into the goal.

The claw has chosen you.

Almost every level has something unique about it, which is impressive considering there are over 150 levels. Some levels include different casings around the cannon, like ice, a ball, switches that reverse gravity, and portals. These individual elements might have lost their appeal quickly, but the developer combined them together in clever ways that make playing through the game a lot of fun, even on the more challenging levels.

Doodle-themed games are far too common on the App Store now, so the graphical change in this sequel was a great choice. The new steampunk style really fits the game well. There are a few spotty backgrounds that were a bit too low-resolution for our taste, but it’s easy to ignore considering the solid gameplay.

Also new in this sequel is the ability to add a laser pointer to the touch controls for precision aiming. This probably won’t appeal to ragdoll veterans, but newcomers should find it much less frustrating to send your ragdoll flying through small gaps with this addition.

Check for flies before using the matter transporter.

Online scoring through Plus+ is done in an interesting manner. Levels are divided into different ‘rooms’, which net you an overall high score based on how many total ragdolls you used to complete them all. Your score is then matched with others online. While the game may not be ideal for online scoring, as there is a set top score available for each group of levels, the integrated achievements are nicely done.

One feature we feel is missing from Ragdoll Blaster 2 is a level editor. While there is sufficient content to keep you occupied for some time, the ability to create, upload, and download more levels always improves the long-term value of physics games.

Even if you’ve never played the original, this game is a Must Have. Ragdoll Blaster 2 sets a new standard for projectile physics games, and any puzzle fan should launch themselves over to the App Store to pick this one up.

Ragdoll Blaster 2 Hands-On Preview

One of the recent cult classics on iPhone was a unique effort from the team at Backflip Studios, called Ragdoll Blaster. Ragdoll Blaster took an amazing physics engine and created an engaging title that threaded the line between being a shooter and a puzzler. Though Ragdoll Blaster was excellent in virtually every aspect, its most impressive accomplishment was delivering dozens upon dozens of imaginative puzzles to conquer. With Ragdoll Blaster 2, that legacy aims to be faithfully recreated and expanded upon. From what we’ve played, it seems to live up to its predecessor.

Using cannons, you aim and fire ragdoll puppets to hit a bullseye target, thus completing the level. Using a scoring system similar to golf, the goal is to finish levels by firing off the least amount of puppets as possible. While you have unlimited puppets, there’s no pride in running through a dozen or so to complete a level.

What makes things interesting is the physics that come into play. Using your cannon as a home base, tapping areas near or far from your cannon determines the flight path and power of your shot. Some bullseye targets require accuracy and brute strength, while others call for a skillful finesse shot to get the job done. As you progress through the game, the setups become increasingly elaborate, but once you figure out the approach, executing and completing the level doesn’t take long at all.

One of the biggest changes we’ve noticed in our time with Ragdoll Blaster 2 is its radical departure from the original’s simple presentation. Replacing the crinkled graph paper backgrounds and sketch drawings are gorgeously designed industrial set-pieces. The scene is still set on a 2D plane, but there’s a pseudo-3D effect that is achieved by the way the game’s assets animate.

We loved the original’s style, but the visuals are substantially improved in every way. Even the audio received a more inspired effort. Instead of leveraging some library classical music, the score sounds original while being catchy.

To bolster the online offering, Backflip Studios has implemented Ngmoco’s Plus+ system into Ragdoll Blaster 2. The achievements have a good mix of easy to difficulty milestones to acquire, and completionists will be busy for a while trying to earn all 750 points. For competitive types, there are several scoreboards to conquer.

If there’s one concern we have about Ragdoll Blaster 2, it’s the strength of its longevity. The early levels impress, but we’re dying to know if puzzles get recycled or stay fresh throughout. As we dig in over the next couple of weeks, stay tuned for our review after the final game drops on March 1.

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