A few days ago, I jokingly said, among a group of designers and game developers, that polygons are all the rage right now. Low and behold, a few days later, Game Cooks ’ new game lands on the Play Store and iOS . Poly Blast is many things. It’s refreshingly simple, a change of pace from previous games, and yet manages to be layered. It’s an arcade game with a puzzle twist, it’s twitchy yet requires strategy. Through this game, the veteran Lebanese development studio have successfully merged genres to create a new experience.
PolyBlast is a 2D arcade space invaders type experience, where you have different shapes: lines, circles, and polygons moving down the screen. On the borders of these shapes move hexagonal targets which the player must shoot with three different turrets at the bottom of the screen. This requires timing and precision. It’s also where the strategy and puzzle twist come in.
Each turret has a limited number of shots. They’re immovable so the player must wait for the target to be aligned. These targets and the shapes that carry them often move around the screen from side to side, while the targets themselves can become difficult to reach if the shape they’re on is a polygon. Say a target moves around a square, if it goes up one of the vertical sides it’s out of range till it runs the whole distance of the border of the square while the player helplessly watches and the square crosses the lower border of the screen. That’s when the player loses the level and has to start over.
Players must also be mindful of their ammo usage. If they’ve used too much of one side midway through the level, they must wait for targets to move to the other to take advantage of the other turrets. Running out of ammunition is a death knell in this game.
There are also power-ups to keep the game interesting, though in my opinion they’re not utilized enough. Multiple consecutive levels pass without any and adding them in would have given Game Cooks a chance to make some levels more challenging. Hitting five targets in a row also unlocks Frenzy mode where you have unlimited ammunition for 5 seconds.
There’s an in-app purchase to remove ads, which pop-up every few games, as well as a key pack, which for $1 gives you 4 level skips, in addition to the 4 you receive when downloading the app. This is pretty generous considering the game’s 60 levels across 4 worlds are beatable with some dedication.
Overall, however, it’s a game that you can easily sink time into without realizing, successfully achieving Chrono-slip with rhythmic repetitive music, sleek eye-catching design and seamless transition between levels.
There is also a local multi-player where players operate opposite ends of the smartphone or tablet and race to take out the most targets. It can make for a fun way to pass time with players easily sinking into a highly competitive atmosphere.
It’s worth noting that the game is easy on the battery with no significant drain during long play times.
The development of this game was done in collaboration with former Lebanon Telecoms Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui, as part of Game Cook’s continuing efforts to engage people of different backgrounds in their game development process. PolyBlast is currently available in Lebanon but will be have a global release soon.