June 25, 2010
UpdateFragger has gone through a complete transformation since we reviewed it. From one world with 40 levels there have been three new worlds added bringing the total level count to 130. Retina Display graphics are also available to download, and Game Center online high scores and achievements are included as well. The complexity of the new worlds really adds to the challenge of what was a relatively simple game. Now there is so much more complexity to each level, and there are just so many more levels to play. There is plenty of replayability as you shoot for three stars on each level, and compete via Game Center. The controls are still a bit of a problem as it’s not effortless, and sometimes you can’t adjust the toss meter as you run out of screen real estate. The level set up is a little subpar so that you can’t play the next level until you beat the previous level. All in all Fragger has improved itself greatly, and is a should buy for only $0.99 that will keep you coming back for a long time. Your objective is to kill all the people on the screen. Who they are, exactly, is unclear - Fragger has absolutely no background story. Perhaps you are SWAT trying to take out terrorists or maybe just a crazed loonie who put on body armor and is going after innocents while using only fragmentation grenades. It doesn't really matter. Just break through barriers, drop grenades down pipes, do what it takes to blow up all the "bad guys." Like I said, it's simplistic. At its heart, Fragger is not much more than a one-sided game of artillery or Worms. At its best, it can be called a hybridization of Ragdoll Blaster and Angry birds. It lacks the intricate puzzles of the former and the overall cutesy-ness and flavor of the latter.
The FeaturesFragger has three different difficulty levels and 40 different levels. The difference between the difficulty levels is simply how many grenades you get in order to finish the level. Normal level gives you enough to not only toss a few test shots but also lob a few misses. At Hard level, you can afford a few misses but Elite level requires you to have all your tosses be pretty much spot on. You can post your scores to the Fragger Leaderboard and you can turn the music and sound effects on and off. Not that many features, because, once again, Fragger is pretty simple.
The BreakdownThe Good When you exit out of the game, it saves EXACTLY where you were...what grenades have been tossed and what damage they have done. Many other action/puzzle games save what level you are on, but seem to forget what you've tried essentially resetting the level. You cannot blow yourself up with your own grenades - believe me, I've tried. I was hoping to 'grenade hop' to a better starting position to make some of the trickier shots, but no dice. The Bad No achievements, no friends, no Facebook posts... just an internal leaderboard. It is rare to find a game that does not use OpenFeint, Plus+, Twitter... anything, really. Very few of the levels are particularly challenging from a puzzle point of view. They are all pretty much straight forward - it is a matter of figuring out angles and power levels instead of solving puzzles.
The VerdictI dont want to say that Fragger is a bad game...far from it. It is enjoyable and a decent casual diversion. Well worth the buck I paid for it. However (there's always a 'however'), that's all it is - "not bad." There are quite a few similar games on the iPhone many of which are more challenging or have better flavor. But if you have a spare dollar, spare time, and a desire to blow up a bunch of guys...go ahead and pull the pin and buy Fragger. It's really that simple.
Ragdoll Blaster - A Physics Puzzler
Team17 Software Ltd