by Staff Writer
April 19, 2010
OverviewSuperfall is a ragdoll physics based app pushed to the extreme created by Craneballs Studios, the developers of the flying adventures 33rd Division and Blimp. You use tilt to guide the descent of a ragdoll through a complex course as though the ragdoll is falling through a pinball table. There are bumpers, gears, fans, wooden platforms, break away platforms, bumpers, bombs, black holes, and more.
FeaturesThe game's goal is to fall as far as you possibly can managing the rag dolls health as it deals with all types of damaging obstacles. There are three different stages giving you the wood stage, cotton stage, and steel stage. The game features OpenFeint for online high scores and achievements. In total there are 30 different ragdolls that you can buy based upon the earnings of experience points and achievements. Experience is earned by feet fallen, average speed of drop, and time dropping. As you're dropping there are various pick-ups including flame head, ice head, health, invincible drink, experience stars, and costume changing. Also included is time stop that you activate by tapping, and you have a limited time to use it.
The GoodRagdoll physics games have done nothing special in the app store to date, but thankfully Craneballs Studios has changed that. Rather than simply throwing them around or down stairs it's as though you're sending them straight through a pinball game mixed with a grind house. It's simple to tilt the ragdoll back and forth, but still requires skill to meet the challenge of lasting through complex obstacles. Having a limited health meter that degrades rather quickly makes you more careful going through the obstacles rather than simply blasting straight through as quick as you can. Each drop is fun, dodging certain obstacles, and trying to make it through others as quick as you can while still trying to collect experience stars and health picks-ups. The best aspect is the unlockable ragdoll collection to keep you coming back for more. You want to keep on playing to earn experience points to be able to buy the ragdoll alien, ninja, smiley face, Elvis, Mexican wrestler, and zombie. It's great to get these ragdolls, and then be able to play with them with each one having better attributes to last longer, and thus you'll earn more experience points. The game has three major themes, and each time you play one the assortment of obstacles is randomly generated. This gives you a different game every time as you try to last as long as you can against the hecticness of the play area. Also the new ragdolls unlock the new themes to play adding ever more incentive to keep going. Some ragdolls are only available to purchase by earning some of the OpenFeint achievements tying you to them in a greater way than many other games. You can also challenge friends via OpenFeint to best your fall giving you one of the best replay factors. The game is really well designed, and all of the ragdoll animations are great. On top of that the design of the levels is intricate, and each of the ragdolls is packed with personality from the artwork.
The BadThe ragdoll physics aren't as great as say Stair Dismount, but fit the perfect action packed arcade theme of the game. As you're falling rarely the tilt controls flip, but after a few seconds it's switches back to appropriate. No background music is included, and the sound effects are sparse at best. The game does get dull after a bit as you can simply leave it running, falling without looking at it. The obstacles start to meld together, and so does the game overall. You will definitely get your money's worth in play time, but variability in the actual gameplay isn't the greatest, and the unlockable ragdolls aren't incentive enough to keep playing after boredom.
The VerdictSuperfall is a unique experience built for the iPhone providing a tilt mechanism to guide a ragdoll falling through a complex obstacle course. It's great seeing the wonderfully designed ragdolls and the appropriate physics of bouncing of bumpers, gears, and bombs. The game is packed with fun being careful to maintain health to last long dealing with obstacles that randomly generated. The replay factor is huge with the unlockable ragdolls, and great OpenFeint incorporation though the game does get boring as the obstacles become so similar. Superfall is a should buy for $1.99, and even higher depend on your love of ragdolls.
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