Ragdoll Blaster, a $2 game from Backflip Studios with a free lite counterpart, is hilarious—but don’t let that fool you. As funny as it is to fire jelly-limbed stick figures around (and into) various hand-drawn obstacles, the game is really a challenging physics-driven puzzler that’s impressively entertaining.
The game offers more than 100 levels. Each looks like a pencil drawing on wrinkled graph paper. There’s a cannon, a series of obstacles, and a bright red bullseye. On each level, your mission is to fire ragdolls at just the right speed and angle to hit the target to progress to the next level. You tap the iPhone’s screen to determine the trajectory of the blasted ragdoll, and the further away from the cannon you tap, the more powerful the blast will be.
And indeed, Ragdoll Blaster is a blast. The difficulty of successive levels increases at a perfect clip, and once you get over the guilt of watching floppy characters smack into every available surface (this took me about three seconds), it’s genuinely amusing fun. On some levels, the bullseye itself moves; others require triggering an intricate sequence of levers and trapdoors to reach the goal. The physics are flawlessly implemented, and you’ll want to retry some levels just to see how few ragdolls you can really use to clear a level.
The lite version is limited to 18 well-selected levels, and I agree with the developer’s apparent assessment that after playing through those, you’ll be suitably addicted and ready to shell out $2 for the full version.
Ragdoll Blaster is the rare puzzle game that’s fun even when you watch someone else play. And not surprisingly, it’s even better when you’re the one doing the playing.
Both versions of Ragdoll Blaster work with any iPhone or iPod touch running the iPhone 2.2 software update.
[Now Lex Friedman has Aerosmith stuck in his head.]