Stunt Squirrels!, a physics-based puzzler from Fire Maple Games, has just been released to the app store. We’ve been looking for a BoomBot clone on the iDevice forever. This is the closest thing we’ve come across and, though it’s not quite the same, it’s really a great game in its own right.
Stunt Squirrels! Pros:
- BoomBot clone with enough uniqueness on its own
- Graphics are fun while a bit cartoonish
- Entertaining sound effects
- Bonus bomb pick-ups
Stunt Squirrels! Cons:
- No online leaderboards
- 30 levels are completed quickly
- Entire levels are difficult to see. Lots of time flying blind
The graphics are fun and a bit cartoonish, with a helmeted squirrel as the main character. The soundtrack is decent, fitting for the fun style of the game and utilizing great sound effects, such as the “yippees” exclaimed by the squirrel every time he’s blasted by a bomb. Tapping and holding creates a throbbing, translucent bomb image under your finger, with the bomb vacillating between large and small. Release your finger when it is the desired size to watch it explode. The proximity and positioning in relation to the squirrel determines the angle and power of the blast, propelling the furry critter skyward. You’ll often need to explode more bombs while the squirrel is in mid-air, as few levels have much of a solid foundation to keep you from falling off of the screen. There are a limited number of blasts allowed, so it’s important to be precise. The level designs all but guarantee that you’ll need most of those blasts and maybe more. Fortunately, some levels include bonus bomb pick-ups, which give you additional bombs. Each level also includes a ring to fly through and a golden acorn to try to collect on your way to the goal.
There are 30 levels in all, which includes bonus levels that are accessible if you pass through the hidden ring. These levels require you to collect a certain number of coins using infinite bombs. All levels are unlocked from the start, so getting stuck on any one will not prevent you from moving forward in the game. There are 3 different environments with 10 levels apiece.
Replay value is good, as stats are tracked as far as what you’ve collected and which acorns you’ve picked up, but there are no timers or anything to compare against other players. OpenFeint or a similar system might be nice to track bombs used, level times, and even achievements. Level balancing is ok, though some seemed out of order with respect to difficulty. Level 6 took a couple dozen attempts to land properly on the goal pad, but Level 7 was easily completed in one try. The 30 levels are completed quickly, so we’d love to see more in future updates. A level editor would be an outstanding addition to this game.
The biggest drawback is that you can’t see much of the level, so you spend a lot of time flying blind. There is a tiny compass at the screen top that points toward the goal, but it’s not very useful. A map or zoom feature could also be helpful. An option to change the screen orientation or automatic screen flip would be nice, too, as our headphone jack was jutting into our palm. Stunts Squirrels is $1.99, a nice value for an enjoyable, 5-Dimple funfest.Stunt Squirrels! A Rodent Blasting Good Time,