Preview: Ring Blade (iPhone)

February 16, 2011

It’s nice to see iPhone games designed for the system. I don’t mean ones ported or made available, though that’s not ever a bad thing; no, the rare and refreshing thing is when a game is created, ground up, with the interface and limitations of the system in mind. MindTrip Studios’ Ring Blade is one of these games.

Fundamentally, Ring Blade is a standard vertical shooter, with players moving a paddle at the bottom and shooting out blades at enemies moving Galaga-style on the screen. The controls are what make it work: you slide back and forth across the bottom of the screen to avoid obstacles, and flick your fingers forward in a direction to shoot a blade that way. The blades bounce around the screen like an air hockey puck, taking out enemies in its path. You can rapid-fire the shots, or you can wait until you charge up a super-powerful shot that usually takes out enemies in one blow.

The aesthetic, largely based on abstract tattoo shapes, makes interface navigation a bit tough, but once you get in the game it’s a fun and cohesive visual style.  Enemies look hand-drawn, and designs pulse around and convey a feeling of life not usually found in your typical shooter bullet.

The game will feature 30 levels of blade-shooting, boss-defeating action, with leaderboards and achievements for people who like that kind of thing (which we hear is most of you). 

Ring Blade, developed by MindTrip Studios, will be out on the App Store soon for 99 cents.