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iPhone  header logo

Ring Blade

For: iPhone

Needs to ring in those changes

Product: Ring Blade | Publisher: Mindtrip Studios | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
Ring Blade iPhone, thumbnail 1
As the world becomes more populated it becomes ever harder to stand out from the crowd.

Where once a tattoo on your arm would be enough to impress your peers and shock your mum, nowadays tattoos are just another piece of clothing for millions of people around the world.

iPhone game developers face a similar dilemma: every genre and art style seems to have been plundered and refined.

Sub-culture

Ring Blade stands out from the crowd of other shooters thanks to its striking visuals, which come across in motion like the fever dream of an overworked tattooist. The concept behind the game is fairly unique - it’s a single-screen shooter in which you fling blades towards a series of enemies that fly in from the sides.

Movement of your blade thrower is handled by sweeping left and right across a rapidly blossoming symbol that looks awfully like something a young lady might have across the small of her back.

Should you wait for the symbol to fully grow, you can fling a powered-up blade. Powered or not, each blade ricochets off the sides of the screen before travelling back to the bottom, with a multiplier applied for every ricochet taken before a successful enemy kill.

Sweeper

Let’s rewind a second and think a little about that last paragraph.

If Ring Blade rewards multiple bounces higher than single ones and said bounces are best achieved by firing at as tight an angle as possible to the nearest wall, then what’s the point in aiming at all?

There isn’t. I was easily able to breeze through most of the game simply by hammering the screen so that the projectile pinged around a lot - no skill or thought, just spam. The tight angles meant they were bound to hit multiple targets on their way up, making them not only high scoring but also far more effective than an aimed shot.

It’s not a flawless tactic, however - not because the game is designed to trip you up when doing said move, but due to overly powerful enemies that require two or more charged shots to kill.

The sticker

It makes matters worse that the controls aren't particularly good. You move your blade machine by sweeping left and right across the bottom, but you also fire the blade by sweeping from down to up.

The little difference between these two motions occasionally results in your blade thrower getting stuck as it sits there, filled with self-doubt, neither firing or moving.

Most of the time it sticks and causes hundreds of enemies drain your health from 100 per cent to nothing in the blink of an eye - it’s nice like that.

There’s a lot of great artwork and some interesting enemy designs lurking in Ring Blade’s emporium, but the controls and scoring mean the only person it’ll end up shocking is you.
 
Ring Blade
Reviewer photo
Will Wilson | 30 March 2011
Sticky movement and a baffling counter-intuitive scoring system make Ring Blade a game not worth shooting for
 
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