Tuesday, September 27, 2011

[Game] Implode! impressions for Windows Phone 7

IUGO Mobile Entertainment recently released their iPhone title, Implode!, on Windows Phone 7. I downloaded the demo, buying the game the same day. Obviously, my impression of the game is positive! But, obviously, I'd imagine you'd want more details than that.

Implode! is a deceptively simple game where you place explosives on a structure with the goal of demolishing it below a certain height. You are scored and ranked based on how few explosives you use and how low you can get it. This is the simple delight of the game, and what makes it so fiendishly addictive.

When you are presented with a "project," you see the building in question built up of different blocks stacked on top of each other. You can place an explosive charge on any one block and each project will have an allotment of explosive charges. Once you have placed as many explosive charges as you want, you then detonate them by pressing on the convenient plunger at the bottom right corner of the screen. From there you are treated to the exploding charges doing their magic, watching as the structure falls down (or not).

The basic charges are versatile things, and how they're placed determines the results. If you place a charge in the middle of a block, you'll end up blowing it in two, with some movement. If you place it at the end of a block you can easily direct movement in the opposing direction. If you place it against other pieces, you'll move and shift multiple blocks. All these are useful tools for imploding the structure that you'll come to appreciate!

In the early stages of the game your only goal is to demolish the buildings below a goal height. As you advance the projects will get more and more challenging in a relatively satisfying fashion. You'll find, in time, special blocks that are indestructible, which may not have any explosives places on them, nor will they be damaged or destroyed when charges are detonated.

At higher difficulties, some projects will have walls that you must avoid having blocks fall on. Should a block from the imploding structure hit a wall, you'll hear the sound of glass breaking as you fail the project. Sometimes you'll have a wall on one side, sometimes on both. These are wonderfully challenging in that you must carefully consider where to place your charges and how they'll affect the falling structure.

There are two things I particularly appreciate about Implode! First, is that the game seems fair to me; retrying stages and rewatching implosions is a good learning experience for the game. By reviewing and experimenting I've been able to learn the rules of the game, devise strategies, and improve. The lack of a timer puts the focus solely on thinking rather than twitch reflexes or an inordinate amount of hand/eye coordination. This alone makes me prefer the game to Angry Birds, which I feel makes you waste shots and attempts to get a feel fir a given stage. Implode! is very straight forward, and what you've learned previously is immediately usable rather than requiring you to "recalibrate" for each stage.

The other thing I really appreciate is the game provides a little aid for us lefties in placing explosive charges. Its a little hard to explain, but its really appreciated as the game shows me where the charge is being placed even though my hand is in the way. Its a nice touch.

Am I done with the game? No, not yet. But its been very enjoyable, and a nice mental challenge. Sometimes just blowing apart buildings in the most spectacular fashion possible is fun in itself. I've yet to try the create-a-project mode, where you can make your own structures to implode, but I'm sure I'll get to it later on.

This fantastic game is available on iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad and Windows Phone 7. There's not an Android version so far as I know, which is a pity, but I'd imagine there's a play-a-like in the Android marketplace (and if there's not there should be). I can highly recommend this title for a quick, but thoughtful, game to play between this and that.

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