In Ragdoll Blaster – A physics game you get to shoot ragdolls, and watch their limp bodies smash into obstacles. This might seem cruel but no ragdolls were harmed writing this review.
Ragdoll Blaster lets you control a stationary cannon shooting ragdolls. It is really easy to aim and shoot. Just touch where you want to aim, and release to shoot. The further from the cannon you place the crosshair the more power it will fire with. The ragdolls are limp, and when not used as projectiles you can make them slide down slopes. There is a maximum of ragdolls on screen at the same time, and when you shoot more than that number those shot first disappear. It is good to have those first removed as otherwise the screen would be cluttered with ragdolls.
On each level there is a bullseye to hit. It is enough to simply touch the bullseye with some part of a ragdoll. Often it is a matter of strategy to place a ragdoll in a good spot where the target will move later on. The bullseye is found on a ball that is affected by other objects in the game, hence the addition to the title. Often you shoot an object to get a momentum forcing other objects to move. Figuring out what to do is really fun once the levels get harder. On the initial levels it is just a matter of finding the correct power and angle of the shot.
You are scored on how many ragdolls you shoot, the fewer the better. It is easy to reset the level with an on-screen button. On many levels you have to restart when you have set the wrong object in motion. There is a total of 70 levels, and thankfully there is a level select giving you the chance to skip a hard level. Level designs vary in quality but most of them are good and challenging. There is the odd one where it is a matter of luck if the ragdoll hits the mark.
Graphically Ragdoll Blaster looks simple and unpolished. It is meant to look like Ragdoll Blaster is taking place on drawing paper, and it manages to get that look right. I think the ragdolls lack personality and would like to see some visual variation. This is actually the only problem I have with Ragdoll Blaster, it lacks personality and character. A theme or setting would certainly enhance the experience. As it is now there is no telling what level you are on other than the actual number. The feeling of progression is low as there is a lot of variation in level difficulties across the 70 levels. You can have more trouble with level 23 than with level 61. Once I completed the 70 levels I felt no incentive to come back and play it again. I remember some levels with pistons that were really cool but have no idea what number they had. With a lack of theme it is hard finding them again. The levels have unique names giving a small hint of their content, like for example pin wheel and volcano.
The game lacks sound effects, you only get the sound of the cannon firing. I would like some bonecrushing sounds when a ragdoll hits a wall. I missed that the game had music when I played it the first times as the game lets you play your own music. I got truly surprised when I heard the game music once I stopped my own playback. It is classical masterpiece “hall of the mountain king” which is dark, powerful and moving. Maybe not the most suiting music to have in Ragdoll Blaster.
Ragdoll Blaster is essentially a good game but the lack of personality and focus make it forgettable. At times I have had the feeling that I just wanted to finish the game and be through with it. A feeling I have had with other games in the same genre such as Crayon Physics. Nothing to unlock but more levels, no achievements and no online leader board draw the score down.
In conclusion I think that Ragdoll Blaster has got the foundation of a good game but it needs some work to stand out in the App Store. If you are looking for a game that will definitely give you a couple of hours distraction Ragdoll Blaster is a good choice. Once completed you will probably not want to play it more though.