Tuesday, October 12, 2010

App O' The Mornin': Red Remover Review

I planned to review Flubby Physics, but as I played it a strange sense of Déjà vu came over me. That’s when I realized I was playing a fairly straight steal of Red Remover, a flash game from Gaz Thomas that’s been floating around for a while. There’s another a rip-off that’s so brazen it called itself Red Block Remover. I’m not quite sure who did the first block remover game, but some of the apps have design and even visual element in common with Red Remover, which has certainly been around for a while. (If I’m wrong about that, feel free to correct me.)

So, rather than reviewing an imitation of a game, I decided to review the game itself, and found that Gaz Thomas had in fact ported Red Remover to the App Store, and done a darn good job of it.

Red Remover is your basic physics game. In this case, you’re removing some boxes from the screen while leaving other behind. Different kinds of boxes follow different rules. Red boxes must be removed by clicking; blue boxes can be removed by clicking, but can also be left behind; and green boxes must be left behind.

The other factor effecting the game are the 4 planes of gravity. Each box has a face, and the face determines which direction a box falls: left, right, up, down. (Obviously, those directions are relative to the way you’re holding the device.)

This creates some very challenging situations very quickly. The goal is to remove some objects while leaving others in place. Box removal games are a staple of the app store and flash gaming for a good reason: they make for entertaining, frequently challenging puzzle play. Some of the puzzles in Red Remover require timing, and some just a logical progression of moves.

The app store is full of games that follow similar patterns, such as Tiki Totems, Tumble Blocks, and Doodle Blocks, not to mention direct rip-offs like Flubby Physics and Red Block Remover. (These last two actually steal some levels straight from Red Remover.) Red Remover does the job very well, and it keeps the elements simple and the puzzles extremely complex. The is just good abstract physics puzzling.

Gaz Thomas tells me that he has a Halloween version of the Red Remover coming out in a week or so. This one will feature new levels and the addition of fireballs.


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