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iPhone  header logo

Max Damage

For: iPhone

Gotta smash ‘em all

Product: Max Damage | Developer: Digital Goldfish | Publisher: irRegularGames | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Casual | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.1
 
Max Damage iPhone, thumbnail 1
Max Damage is one of those games.

You know the one: cheap-as-chips presentation, simplistic mechanics, the kind of thing you think will while away an hour at most, but ends up with you jabbing furiously at the screen to retry a level over and over again until you perfect it.

Max Damage is the latest from Bloons developer Digital Goldfish, and sees you playing the titular, cap-wearing whippersnapper.

Armed with a slingshot in his back pocket, a mile-wide grin and a sodding great cannon, Max sets out to cause as much chaos and destruction as humanly possible before his mum calls him in for tea.

Gunner be trouble

You don’t actually control the little ASBO-baiter himself, but rather his unfeasibly large weapon (no tittering, please). You slide your finger out from Max to determine the trajectory of the shot – the further the distance from finger to cannon, the more power you’ll generate.

The objective for each stage is to reach a set tally (in dollars) for the damage you’ve caused in a limited number of shots.

This is achieved by demolishing fridges, toppling TVs, and setting fire to antique paintings. Each object has a different value, so some tactical destruction is required – do you spend two shots trying to immolate a bookcase, or just collapse a microwave on top of it and move onto another target?

Initially, you start off in Max’s house. Ignoring the troubling question of why his mother allows him to a) have a cannon indoors and b) pile up electrical goods in precarious positions, you progress through ten stages, attempting to earn the total that’ll bag you three stars.

Seek and destroy

Eventually, you’ll move onto a supermarket, a building site, a funfair, and even hop aboard a UFO.

Different ammo types add variety – bouncy basketballs can ricochet off walls to knock down tough-to-reach objects, while lasers cut through impassable blocks to allow a clear sight of a previously unattainable target.

Meanwhile, the challenges get a little cleverer: one asks you to use your remaining projectile to bounce an already-used fireball into a flammable item, while another requires you to work out the correct order of objects to destroy.

The game steadily drip-feeds new ideas, even if the ultimate goal is the same. The end comes all too quickly, too, though you’ll likely be left with a fair few stars to mop up.

Cannon and bawl

There are a couple of frustrations when it comes to snaring those elusive final trinkets.

On each stage only the one-star target is displayed, and it can be frustrating when a seemingly perfect combination of shots only results in a one- or two-star reward. And the restart button seems curiously unresponsive on occasion, only sending you back after you’ve pressed it several times.

These small niggles make for a needlessly attritional end to an otherwise breezy and entertaining little game that overcomes its lacklustre presentation with some genuinely inventive puzzles and a fun idea at its core. Because let’s face it - who doesn’t like breaking stuff?
 
Max Damage
Reviewer photo
Chris Schilling | 8 June 2011
A fun physics-based puzzler that, with more levels and some fine-tuning, could yet be an iPhone essential
 
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