Blop! The Escape From Earth ($0.99) by BitSquid Soft Devs is a challenging hybrid game that uses tilt motion, swiping, and tapping to help a stranded alien collect sheep to power his spaceship.
In this game, you will swipe to move Blop and tap to shoot bubbles at sheep. After bubbling the sheep, you need to tilt your iPhone to direct the ship towards them, while avoiding baddies like bubble-popping birds.
You will want to collect white sheep, while avoiding green sheep. But you still want to bubble green sheep, because green sheep will destroy birds, giving you +50 to your score. Green sheep that go into your ship will drain the battery.
There’s also a giant robot eye shooting bombs at you, which you need to stay away from.
Since you can’t direct the sheep, timing is important to avoid enemies. You need to create your sheep bubbles when there’s a break in the baddies in order to get them to the ship.
This is actually fairly unintuitive. I felt like I should be tilting the sheep, not the ship, because tilting the ship gave me little control over avoiding enemies. The tilt controls are also not well calibrated, making gameplay difficult. If the ship were faster, it would be more tolerable.
The combination of swiping, tapping, and tilting is a bit too much in combination with all of the enemies. The majority of popular games in the App Store, like Fruit Ninja (still in the top 30 games after two years) and Tiny Wings have simple controls for a reason – people want to focus on the gameplay, not the game’s controls.
Blop has three difficulty levels: normal, hard, and insane. Honestly though, normal itself is pretty darn challenging because of the control scheme, so I doubt most players will use the harder modes.
The goal in the game is to power up the ship with sheep as quickly as possible. You will get score bonuses for beating levels quickly. While there’s a personal high score system, there is no Game Center support, which is disappointing.
The game’s description says that it is meant to be hard, so if you like ultra challenging arcade style games with less than desirable control schemes, Blop! The Escape From Earth may just be the game for you.
In my opinion, though, this game is not hard, it’s just poorly designed. It actually takes little skill to finish levels. Hard is okay, downright frustrating because of slow, uncontrollable gameplay is not. I wasn’t a fan of this game, but I’d love to hear from the rest of you. If you bought Blop, what do you think?