Updated: BlastPoints Review

One of our favorite action games from the tail end of last year, BlastPoints, has just received a massive update. The biggest complaint we had with the game was that it can get rather repetitive. Well, Checkbox Studios have gone a long way toward fixing that.

There are four new huge, colorful maps to fly through and four new mission types. We’ve played through them all, and are quite pleased that the size of the game has essentially been doubled. The new maps are gorgeous, and the missions are a heck of a lot of fun to play through.

If we had one concern with the new missions (Battering Ram, Heartbreaker, Impulsive and Endless) it’s that during the Battering Ram mission you’re constantly surrounded by an obnoxious, fluttering shield that never goes away. It can make it hard to see the enemies, especially when they’re close, which can be annoying. There are also new ships, new ship upgrades, new achievements, a new ranking system, and the game seems to run a little bit smoother.

blastpoints-1abc

BlastPoints is also now free to play, but we honestly didn’t notice the in-app purchase system getting in our way of enjoying the game. And better yet, the IAPs have been retooled to be a better bargain for players.

The new update does create one bizarre technical issue though, and that’s with the text. In every menu in the game, the text runs off of the left hand side of the screen. It’s weird, but it seems like something that can be easily fixed.

BlastPoints was an awesome game when it first came out, and now with the increased scale and being free with a new non-obtrusive IAP system, there has never been a better time to get this absolutely great game.

This review was originally posted on December 10, 2012. It was updated on May 20, 2013.

There’s been a dearth of quality space-shooters for iOS. Sure we’ve had our Galaxy on Fires and Galactic Phantasies, but on the whole this is one genre that’s been a little starved. But in the past month we’ve gotten the amazing Arc Squadron, which proved our little phones were more than capable of giving us that Star Fox feeling. Hot on the heels of that game, Checkbox Studios has brought us BlastPoints. And while its threadbare story won’t exactly light up the skies, its intense and addictive action more than make up for it.

You control a space fighter in BlastPoints and your task is to blow up the enemy and get as many points as you possibly can. That’s it. When you boot up the game there’s a brief mention about some A.I. going crazy and trying to overtake humanity, but the bottom line is that you have to destroy as many enemy ships as you can in as glorious and over-the-top fashion that you can muster.

Taking a short cut through a black hole is always a good idea.

There are five locations for you to fight through and 10 different kinds of game types. You’ve got survival missions, timed missions, assassination missions, etc. In the end, again, it all boils down to just blowing the hell out of everything you see, and you’re going to have a blast doing it.

As you play through the game you collect the titular BlastPoints. You use these to buy new primary weapons, secondary weapons, and even tertiary weapons. You also can upgrade your engines and buy new ships. There is almost no end to the combinations and permutations that can be used to enhance your destructive tendencies. We’re fans of pairing up the EMP’s high splash damage with weapons like mines and exploding machine guns. Ultimately, it’s all up to you and however you want to play the game and missions. Experimentation with your ship is almost as much fun as fighting against enemies.

“Fox, get this guy off me!”

The controls are pretty much spot on. You have a virtual stick to move your ship and buttons for weapons and acceleration. You can also do barrel-rolls and loop-the-loops by swiping your fingers across the screen. It would be nice if we could adjust the sensitivity of the controls, but that’s a small complaint, and buying new engines can do a lot to ameliorate any problems you may have.

BlastPoints is powered by the Unreal Engine, and it shows. The few locations that you play through are simply gorgeous. There’s massive, hulking machinery to fly through, stunning star-systems and suns in the background, and stuff explodes in epic fashion. But where the engine really shines is with the number of enemies that appear on-screen at one time. At any given time there can be as many as 15 enemy ships on the screen trying to blow you out of the sky, and the game handles this with no problem at all. We never experienced any problems with slowdown or crashing while playing the game, and with everything that’s going on, that’s an impressive feat.

BlastPoints isn’t going to win any points for originality. It can get repetitive, there isn’t much of a story, and seeing the same locations over and over again may get annoying. But while it’s not a deep thinker, it has style to spare. BlastPoints is so well done, so much fun to play, and is so addictive that hours can easily pass by without you even noticing. This is full-blown action writ large, and the only thing that might stop you from playing are hand cramps.