Cheap Shot: Diabolika

The demons are trying to take over. We can feel their wicked presence creeping in, curling like fingers of fog stealing across the landscape, ready to envelop anything in its path. Their latest tool is Diabolika, a fiendishly delightful puzzler from independent developers Derek Yu and Jon Perry.

At first you think Diabolika is a simple game that pits you against cute little demons. You use blobby bombs, some of which look like the demons themselves, to destroy these evil invaders.

Go back to hell, demon spawn!

Each bomb has a different explosive pattern, which is represented by yellow boxes on the grid screen. You place the bomb by one or more demons and tap it at the appropriate time to unleash fiery death on the villainous fiends. If you can’t keep the demon population to around 12 or so, then your bombs turn into demons and all is lost.

You’ll play the game for a while, enjoying the colorful characters and interesting gameplay, but then you try to stop playing. You put it down and walk away, but the game calls to you. You’ll find yourself thinking about how to use chain reactions to make bombs set off other bombs, or how many levels you can clear before the demons get the upper hand.

And you have to go back and try it again. And again. You tell yourself that you don’t have a problem, that you can give it up whenever you want. But this addicting little game is too much fun to put down. You have to keep playing it.

I need an old priest, I need a young priest.

You put off other tasks, small things at first. The dishes can wait. There’ll be plenty of time to do laundry tomorrow.

Then it’s big things. Work, family… one by one these larger priorities fall to the wayside. All there is for you is Diabolika.

That’s what they want, you see. The demons are merely using this fantastic game as a tool to enslave mankind. We will sit, compulsively playing Diabolika, while civilization grinds to a halt. Then, the demons will come out of hiding and make us do their evil bidding. Beware this game! Beware!

Editor’s Note: Cheap Shot is a new review feature where we pick a game that costs $.99 or $1.99 and give it the quick review treatment. While you won’t find a 1-4 score or our usual pros and cons, you will get a direct assessment of the game based on a one-hour playthrough. You’ll still find our full-length, regular reviews for other games.

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