Ragdoll Blaster 3 Review
- Four new 'ragdolls' to add all new puzzle features to the Blaster series.
- Shareable replay system; see where you went wrong or others went right.
- Cute unlockable costumes; currency also acts as a guide in more challenging levels.
- Level skips require a one-off purchase; double-dips casual gamers for more cash.
- Certain puzzles can have progression blocked due to physics quirks; can eventually pass, but still a needless frustration.
Ragdoll Blaster 3 may look like yet another physics puzzler to throw on the pile, but the original formula is enhanced thanks to four new dolls and far more complex situations to overcome.
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If you can't beat'em, join'em - it seems to be a rallying cry for many titles of late and so it's no surprise to see Ragdoll Blaster 3, the latest release in Backflip Studios' flagship games, joining the 'cute and cuddly' revolution. We won't blame them though because the upside is the addition of four new 'ragdolls', each with their own unique skills to add to the game's already fun physics gameplay.
One thing the shift from a stylized design to a friendlier 'cute' motif has changed is the overall tone of the game. While the originals had an inherent level of humor derived from watching full-bodied ragdolls being crushed and twisted in ever-more-complex puzzles, the current game relies on its cutesy cries and yelps to retain the same 'fun' atmosphere. It's not quite the same, but it does appeal to a broader audience - for what it's worth.
As with the originals, the game is all about setting the power and aim of a cannon, blasting a ragdoll out of it and affecting the world in such a way that one of the ragdolls eventually touches a 'target'. Small additions such as the inclusion of 'buttons' as a currency for unlocking new skins for the dolls also act as a way of guiding the player's attention to important features.
In this way the game is allowed to become far more complex than ever before, with puzzles introducing vast machine-like mechanics that require a deft-hand to manipulate correctly. Unfortunately these machines are also subject to the rigors of the game's loose physics, resulting in failures that are almost entirely out of your hands. Thankfully restarts are instantaneous, so you can play around as much as you like, testing the waters before going for a perfect clear.
As mentioned, there are four new dolls to play with: an icy doll that slides around levels on its slick body; a fat doll that pummels its way through heavy objects; a firey doll that can burn objects on the level; and a metallic doll that's subject to magnetic influences. As you progress, combinations of the dolls will be required to complete each stage, allowing for challenges that require precision and skill to proceed.
The shift to a less stylized and more family-friendly style has only changed the feel of Ragdoll Blaster 3 slightly, with the benefits of a more varied and complex experience being the largest benefits to fans of the series. Other neat touches include a replay system to see where you could have improved, along with the ability to email them to friends to share your solutions.
Change for the sake of it is less admirable than change with a purpose and Backflip Studios have done no less than to seriously consider what they have done with Ragdoll Blaster 3. While still a bit sticky at points due to its physics system, the game is still a blast to enjoy (and yes, that was a lame pun).