Monday, September 17, 2012

Burn the City - an iOS app review

Burn the city is a small casual game that puts you in the skin of a giant firebreathing lizard with no other purpose in life that to put cities ablaze for shear amusement.

The game relies basically on physics and the "angry birds" catapult model to offer a lot of fun in a small package.

Tried and true mechanics at the purpose of mindless destruction. YAY!!
Unlike angry birds, in Burn the City you won't be restrained by a limited number and shots and ammo. Our little lizard and his unlockable companions all have a basic fireball attack, that causes impact damage to buildings, sets them aflame and even bounces a bit when stroke on the right angle. This removes the frustration factor of the game as you can practice most shots before wasting your precious special ammunitions on them.

Special ammo, must be obtained in the very stage, and comes in 3 forms, sniper, explosive or remotely detonated. The first is not affected by gravity so can reach targets beyond normal firebal range, the second goes boom on everything it touches, bouncing up to 3 times, while the last wont explode until you touch it which will allow to hit onto other surfaces and enter ducts without exploding.

From chapter 2 onwards meteorological effects like rain and wind will also affect the performance of your shots so you'll have to learn to use it in your favor while aming for the weakest spots of the city, like energy generators, nuclear plants or oven overflying airplanes that you can take down into uncovered buildings (i wonder if they'll ban this game on the USA).

Usually there is more than one way to clear a mission, but only one way to score tons of points. This is tood because encourages you to retry mission until gaining gold, but rarely you'll find a mission that blocks your progress. Only a handful of missions can actually be failed due to being dependant on timing of a shot and but not usually on precision.

You must admit that the dino is kinda cute.

The game never penalizes failed shots, in fact scoring is only dependant in the amount of destruction you can cause, and you will get multipliers from striking multiple targets and causing chain explosions with a single shot. This is a good point for a tactile game because we all know that aiming is not always easy in a handheld device and is kind of frustrating to repeat a 10 shot chain just because you missed a milimeter on the last shot, or unvoluntarily touched the screen causing a rogue fireball to launch.

The game also includes a "Battle" mode where you have to survive an onslaught of copters and tanks coming from a big city. The time and precision is critical on this mode, as well as taking profit of the ricochetting nature of the fireballs to strike multiple moving targets.

In battle mode you can score big by bringing aircrafts in flames down to the buildings.

Overall the grafics, though simple are clean and the physics are well represented, specially in the final stages in space. The backgrounds are plain and simple, and the music and sounds are not memorable, decent at much, but they complement the game enough and are not annoying.

The game totals around a 100 missions, some of them with some hilarious setups (special mention for the Space invaders mockup stage). Shame is the most original ideas are used only on one or two missions. In the end of the game you feel that some ideas could have been used more into further extending the fun. I wish we see updates with new missions on the near futuro.

The space invaders stage closes the game with golden key.
There are 3 additional dinos, all unlockable with points earned in game, but none of them affect gameplay, just are small graphic variations.

Overall it's good fun game that will keep you entertained for some hours.

You will like it

If you like mindless destruction or thoughtful destruction, whatever.
If you hate casual games with frustrating bottleneck stages.
If you are into dinosaurs.

You wont like it

If you´re looking for really tough challenges.
If the idea of throwing planes into buildings makes you shiver


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