Rip Off, Colorbox’s defense-style game that openly borrows from many of the most popular mobile games, is now available from the app store. Despite rehashing elements from other chart toppers, Rip Off manages to provide a polished challenge that feels fairly fresh and offers a highly addictive experience.
Rip Off Pros:
- Beautiful and appealing art style
- Funky, upbeat soundtrack
- Dead simple tap controls
- Slew of objectives to complete
- OpenFeint integration for global leaderboards and achievements
Rip Off Cons:
- OpenFeint pops up “new high score” banner after each level, gets annoying quickly
- Need to access main menu to view current objective, would prefer it available on-screen
- Needs screen flip option, headphone cord juts into hands in current locked orientation
You control a single small bird (shocked that it’s a bird, aren’t you?) who must protect 3 eggs from being stolen by a variety of enemies that swarm the screen. The enemies include foes who burrow under the ground and pop up beneath the eggs before trying to dash off-screen, several enemies that attempt to fly off with your eggs, and even enemies that try to pull your eggs away with some sort of tractor beam that you might expect from a UFO. These were the most difficult to defend, as our focus was usually on the enemies swarming the egg area and not on creatures position on the other side of the screen. Tapping where you want to go, the bird slashes his way from his current location to the tapped spot, eliminating any enemies that get trapped in-between. Occasionally, red bombs bounce across the screen. Slashing one of these bombs will immediately end the game, Fruit Ninja style, right down to the light rays that burst from the bomb before it explodes. Allowing all three eggs to vanish will similarly end the game. You have a laundry list of objectives, from killing x number of land enemies to racking up y number of combos and much, much more. Each completed objective raises your base score multiplier, so the more objectives you tick off your list, the more valuable each sliced enemy becomes. Couple these with combos and kill chains and you can really drive up your score. The Tiny Wings influence is not lost here, but it works very well in Rip Off.
The Retina Display graphics have a similarly familiar look, borrowing inspiration from Patapon with its brightly colored backdrops contrasted against darkened enemy figures. Enemies have unique body types and the eggs feature artsy designs. The visuals are crisp and colorful, a delight to watch. Completed objectives unlock various configurable aspects of the game, such as eggs, birds, backgrounds, and slash colors, which provides some replay incentive and keeps the game from looking stale. The soundtrack is funky and upbeat, perfect for the art style and casual nature of the game, though it ceases to play during the game, leaving you with only the sound effects. The controls are strictly tap-based, requiring you only to tap where you want the bird to go. They are very responsive and simple to get the hang of, through deftly maneuvering between bouncing bombs and through crowds of enemies can be a bit challenging. There are times that so much is happening on screen that you won’t even notice that some of your eggs have been swiped. Indicators in the upper right corner will tell you at a glance how many eggs remain, as some can get obscured behind others, making it difficult to tell what remains.
Replay value is terrific, as the single survival level featuring random waves of enemies exhibiting unpredictable behaviors should keep you on your toes as you try to meet objectives and top your best point totals, kill chains, and time spent playing. There is a very strong “one-more-try” quality that kept us playing long into the night. OpenFeint integration provides global leaderboards for best kill count and best point total for both individual efforts and for the life of the game, which results in an annoying “new high score” indicator after each game as you increase your lifetime totals. An achievement system mirrors the in-game objectives, too. At an introductory price of $0.99 (there is a separate HD version for $1.99), Rip Off is a 4.5-Dimple stud that shamelessly mixes and matches popular gaming elements to create a highly compelling and enjoyable experience.
Rip Off Review,