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iPad App Video Review: Dynamite Jack

by Andrew Koziara

Dynamite Jack is the latest title from developer Phil Hassey of Galcon fame. This is quite different from his strategy offerings though. Essentially, it's a stealth puzzle game, with simple yet decent visuals, cool lighting effects, and all the explosions you can stomach. It's actually a port of the original desktop version, and I'm happy to report that they spared no expense and made no cuts. This is full of features and options. Sadly, it's only available to iPad owners.

As a space marine who has been captured and forced to work in alien mines, it's time to make your escape. Your only tools in doing so? A simple flashlight and an unlimited supply of bombs, and not every level even gives you both. It's up to you to sneak past guards, find key cards, destroy technology locks, blow your way through walls, collect crystals and data cartridges, plus a bunch of other stuff before reaching the end of a level. Each level mixes up the puzzle elements, and slowly new patrolling aliens or traps, such as lasers, are introduced.

Enemies are often very dumb, and easy to distract and manipulate as they come running after every explosion they hear. The stealth elements aren't like full stealth games, but this is more about the puzzle elements, and a great mixture of the two game types. For some added challenge, you can go after the bonus objectives on each level, which include killing no guards, getting all data cartridges, and not dying even once… at the same time. Your completion time is combined with these other elements for your leaderboard scores, making for a vicious competitive title. The leaderboards aren't Game Center, but the achievements are.

This full featured game is packed with options, and plenty of different control methods, including line drawing and iCade support. They've even ported over the level editor, and you can play through community created levels sorted by rating for endless replayability. This is a clever title which really should be part of every iPad owner's library of games. Even at the current price of three dollars, it is more than worth it. I can't recommend it enough.

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