BulkyPix, purveyors of fine downloadable titles on the App Store, has released a simple shooter called Triblaster. If you’ve never been a fan of geometry, then now’s your chance to get back at all of those pesky shapes that have plagued you since high school. In Triblaster, you take control of a tiny triangle that rolls from side to side on a plane while other shapes move towards it, coming in from the background.
Sometimes, simple can be good; just ask any of the millions of players around the world who are addicted to match-three games. In Triblaster’s case, simple can be… okay. This isn’t one of those games you’ll want to whip out during your downtime because you can’t stand every moment that goes by that you’re not playing it, but it’s simple and fun enough that you can take a minute or two, after having a cup of coffee or while in the bathroom because of said cup of coffee, to try and beat your high score. It’s good, mindless fun that can be appreciated in mere minutes without asking you to marry it.
The controls in Triblaster are not the best, but they serve their purpose fairly well. You’ll play in landscape mode, holding your finger to your screen and swiping left to right in order to make your triangle roll around the plane and fire its guns. Why a triangle has guns is beyond me, but the game is called “Triblaster,” so I suppose it makes sense.
The further your finger is from the middle of the screen, the faster the triangle will roll towards that direction. This means that you can either make your triangle roll around very slowly, taking things space by space (or lane by lane, however you want to divvy up the plane), or just dart around erratically from side to side. Every now and then you’ll notice that tinier green triangles appear. You can collect these to build up energy. A bar on the top-left corner of the screen shows you your energy level. As long as you’ve got enough energy, you’ll be able to jump backwards, away from the plane, and use your special beam attack.
Why would you need to jump and use a beam? Well, the shapes that you don’t destroy end up at the foreground, rolling around with you. If those guys hit you, you lose one life. The way to get rid of them is to jump backwards and shoot them all on your way back. It’s that simple. You’ll repeat this pattern of rolling, shooting and jumping throughout the game, with many of the levels changing shape and more powerful enemies appearing as you get further in the game.
The controls, for the most part, feel tight and responsive. I would have preferred some virtual face buttons to move the triangle, just for more precision, but the dragging works fairly well. Triblaster also happens to be an attractive game, presenting everything in a digitized, polygonal aesthetic that looks like it could’ve been a part of the CG scenes in ‘Lawnmower Man.’
There are 75 levels in all to master, so it should take you a good while to get through the game, unless you’re some kind of master at holding and dragging with precision. It’s a moderately fun game that challenges you without being overly complicated. There’s not much of a payoff other than the satisfaction of knowing you conquered a level, but it still spurs you on, keeping you playing small bursts at a time. If you’ve got a couple of bucks and feel like you need something to occupy your time in minutes-long intervals, whether on bus rides, in waiting rooms or just while you’ve got a moment, Triblaster is a pretty fun distraction.
This review was completed using a purchased copy of Triblaster for iOS.