Have you ever wanted to rig up some dynamite, blow up a building and wreak some havoc? Then perhaps you may want to seek professional help. For the rest of us, we can play Implode! on our iPhones.
Taking a very simple concept and fleshing it out, Implode! lets you live out your favorite childhood dreams of destruction. Each of the game’s 90 levels presents a frame that is begging to be demolished by dragging charges to different points, blowing them up and watching the resulting wreckage. The better the placement, the more effective the implosion – hence the name – and the higher your payout (score).
The trick to beating each level is to find the weak structural points and knock them out. Each stage gives you a finite number of charges to work with. If you can implode the structure with fewer charges than the game gives you, it’s worth a bonus to your payout.
Implode! gives you three kinds of charges. Two of them are pretty basic: a weaker dynamite and a larger barrel with a stronger blast strength and radius. The third, though, is really unique: a bomb that directs its blast, forcing the structure in a direction. While going left or right seems pretty straight-forward in its implementation, some levels feature a downward-pushing bomb, which may not work how you think.
To set the charge, you drag one of them from the bottom of the screen. As you press, the game zooms in under your finger just like when editing text in an e-mail on your iPhone. It’s a little disorienting – you may think you’re higher in the structure than you are – but it can be learned. If dragging isn’t your thing, you can change an option to simply touch where you’d like to put a charge, but it’s not nearly as flexible. Where you’re ready to blow, just tap the plunger on the right side of the screen.
Of course, there are other factors to contend with. Some levels feature neighboring structures which cannot be damaged by flying debris, or the level is failed. There are also unexplodable solid beams, which can only be knocked away by the falling structure, not directly by an explosion.
To pass a level, the rubble must be below a dotted line. This line gets lower depending on which of the game’s three difficulty levels you choose. Ah, but if only it were that simple. The rubble falls and settles based on Implode!‘s complex physics. While they seem fairly lifelike, there are many times that the rubble looks like it should shift in different ways than it does. This sometimes results in a single beam sticking straight up, bringing the highest point of the rubble above the dotted pass line.
The graphics are very fun, using a chalkboard style that’s minimal, but clear and effective. Later levels have bits of humor to them, particularly the holiday themes like a snowman, reindeer or Hannukah theme. The explosion sounds are adequate, but the rest leaves a lot to be desired. There is a weird, constant wind rushing as you play, and the falling structures are eerily silent. Fortunately, the game allows you to play your iPod library in-game.
There was one other weird thing that didn’t seem like an obvious problem at first, but was missed during some of the bigger levels. Even though you have the option of watching a replay of a particularly cool implosion, they cannot be saved or shared. This is a shame, as I’d often run to show off a great level, only to find nobody around to share it with, and it is lost to the ages.
As far as apps-in-your-pocket level gaming goes, Implode! is a great value. There are a number of laugh-out-loud moments, and some structures are truly spectacular as they topple. If you’ve got a passion for destruction, give Implode! a try. Go ahead and press that plunger. Just make sure it’s in-game.