There aren’t many games that keep me from writing a review because I’m so busy playing them, but Babel Rising from Bulkypix has done just that. I also can’t stop because I get to play God. And as we know, playing God is something we all want to do. It’s why we clone sheep, inject chickens with steroids and grow genetically modified hybrid vegetables such as the cross between a strawberry and a lion known as the Lionberry.
Yep, I’ve been having so much fun with this one that this review has now become a chore. The Babylonians are hell bent on building a tower high enough to reach you, God. It’s your job to do what any self-respecting god would do: wipe them clean off the earth.
You accomplish this by unleashing god-like powers onto the citizens foolish enough to rush onto the screen in an attempt to build the tower. The default power is The Finger of God, which one would imagine would be fantastic for reaching stubborn bogeys. Tapping on each human crushes them, making them drop their building block and delaying the construction of the tower.
But of course, it’s not that easy. Multiple humans rush onto the screen at once, including faster ones and bigger, stronger guys who carry larger building blocks. Tapping each human with The Finger is also painfully slow as it needs to recharge between taps. It doesn’t take long – less than a second in fact – but it’s enough so that you can’t just mindlessly swipe them off the screen.
That’s where other, more powerful er, powers come in. There are good biblical variety – the finger, thunderbolt, typhoon, earthquake, burning bush, gust of wind and locusts to name a few. These clear higher numbers of humans off screen at once, but take longer to recharge. Because even God needs a rest every now and then, that’s what Sundays are for.
They also cost coins, which you can earn with better performance on each level. Each power can be upgraded to become more powerful or have longer lasting effects, and there are a number of other goodies you can purchase such as faster reloading times and Scrolls which can freeze the humans in their tracks or grant you continues to keep playing after you die.
It’s addictive because harnessing each new power is fantastically satisfying. Sweeping a bunch of Babylonians off the screen with a tsunami tidal wave or lighting them up with a burning bush, then watching in glee as they run around setting themselves on fire is something you know you’d love to do in real life. Supermarket checkout girl giving you lip? Boom, locust swarm. Parking warden slip you a ticket? EAT LIGHTNING GERALD.
But boy is it tough. Even from the start. The first few levels will look easy in retrospect once you progress, but destroying 120 humans on the second level proved more of a challenge than I anticipated when after a furious bout of tapping, I looked up to see the number 89 in the corner. Great I thought, 30 more to go. Only to then realise 89 was the number of humans I had left to kill. Oh dear.
Controls are generally simple and unobtrusive. The tidal wave requires you to swipe two fingers across the screen and can be awkward to pull off in the heat of the moment though, and The Finger can be a little inaccurate at times. You’ll also wish the developers were a little more lenient with it’s recharging time – as in not having one at all. Although it does provide more of a challenge this way. I’m just going soft in my godly old age. I don’t dye my beard white you know. It’s au natural. Graphics don’t really need to be flashy for a game like this, but the art style is still great to look at. Animation is pretty basic, however each power still packs enough of a punch to be enjoyable each time you use it. Sound effects are full of personality; the music is well produced and atmospheric.
Who knew being God could be this much fun? The way the humans go tumbling off screen yelping as they perish will bring a grin to your face. It’s possible you may feel a little guilt at your killing spree, but as a Christian for the best part of 15 years, I can reassure you should never feel remorse at aiming an earthquake at people. Trust me.
You don’t need to be a god to know that Kevin’s on Twitter @dreagleg
Babel Rising: Cataclysm is available now for free on iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Get it now on the