Recently updated to improve the ease of play, Asplosion! HD ($2.99) is a tricky chain-reaction strategy iPad game courtesy of developer Kyle Sanderson's imaginative mind that boasts more than 80 levels of colorful fireworks-type explosions.
In Challenges mode, the player is given a goal for each of the 60 levels. If you achieve the minimum goal, you go on to the next level. If you exceed the goal, you get a blue star. In order to unlock special levels, you must beat each challenge with a blue star rating. Like all great puzzle games, Asplosion HD's levels increase in difficulty as one progresses through the birrage of randomized explosions and the introduction of new types of balls.
The most basic of which are blue balls that shoot horizontally and vertically once they explode. The green and red balls are variations on this theme, except the include diagonal capability. In some levels the chain reaction must start with a bomb that counts down from three before exploding. Most interesting of the ball types are the 'pinkys'--that shoot only in the direction their arrow points--and darker blue balls that hit neighboring targets by generating ring explosions. If you hit a purple ball, the round is over and you will prompted politely to 'try again.'
Each challenge must begin with a specific chain reaction, displayed next to the player score in the upper left corner. There is no indication of the amount of excess points needed to achieve a blue star rating, the only real shortcoming in the game's point system.
You have to complete an undisclosed number of Challenges to unlock more levels in The Arena. This is Asplosion! HD's two-player mode in which the highest score over three alternating rounds wins the contest.With the current high score displayed near the Arena levels, grouped under charming monikers such as 'Flower Power' and 'Blue Balls,' you will have a constant reminder of someone's superiority. Whether it is your own personal score or a friend's, there is always room for improvement.
From the intricate patterns one must consider to execute the perfect chain reaction to the tips offered by anthropomorphic characters based off the colorful balls, Asplosion! HD is stellar and a sure-fire winner. At $2.99, it is clear that Mr. Sanderson understands how to create a fundamentally sound game at a reasonable price.