A few weeks back, we found out that Illusion Labs had a new iOS project in the works called Blast-A-Way [$4.99]. At first we weren’t really sure what it was all about, but a trailer released a couple of days later revealed it to be a physics puzzle game that used various types of explosives to blast apart a level and reach the end goal.
So, a physics puzzler. Is my excitement not showing? It's not that I haven’t enjoyed that genre immensely over the years, because I have. It’s just that the overabundance of them on the App Store has sapped my enthusiasm for more, even though great new ones are being released all the time. I mean, why don’t you just make a match-3 while you’re at it?
Then, about 10 minutes after diving into an advanced copy of Blast-A-Way, it hit me: this is Illusion Labs, you idiot. These folks made Touchgrind BMX [$4.99], Sway [$4.99 / Free], and Labyrinth 2 [$4.99 / Free]. Everything they do exudes quality, they don’t play silly App Store pricing games, and they only release new products when they’re fully ready. They’re like a little iOS Valve.
My hesitation quickly subsided as the brilliance of Blast-A-Way started to unfold. It starts off in typical fashion, slowly introducing the mechanics of the game as you get yourself oriented. The goal on each level is to collect 3 little characters named Boxies by dislodging them from the environment or using the blast concussion to move them within reach. Think of it like iBlast Moki 2 [$2.99 / $2.99] in 3D, because it kind of is.
Besides the bombs, Blast-A-Way has several other interesting types of orbs you can toss around, like one that can teleport you across a level or one that will repair damaged blocks to create a traversable path. As you might expect, levels can get intricate and challenging once you throw all these mechanics in at the same time, not to mention having up to 3 controllable characters in a level to manage as well.
Check out as Brad and I take a tour of some of what Blast-A-Way has to offer:
I completely underestimated Blast-A-Way when I first saw it, and now I’m paying the price. Fortunately for me, that "price" is simply enjoying the hell out of an ingeniously designed puzzle game. Of course, the Illusion Labs mark of quality permeates this release as well, with fantastic visuals, great sound, and an overall well thought out design.
I'm roughly a third of the way into Blast-A-Way as of this writing, and I'm already dying to jump back in for more. It should have filtered through most of the international markets by now, and it's just hit the US App Store as a Universal app for $4.99.
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