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Android game Blow Up a challenging physics puzzler

by Caitlin M. Foyt

Blow Up, a challenging physics puzzler for your Android phone, isn't particularly impressive in any one way, but it's a well-put-together game that many will enjoy playing.

The point of Blow Up is to demolish buildings, one at a time, by strategically placing bundles of dynamite at various key points on the structure. To clear the level, though, no rubble can stick out above a pre-set goal line. Bonus points are awarded if your stuffed panda bear, which hangs out on the beams near the top of your structure, should run into a star as the building collapses.

This game forces you to think ahead, and will sometimes require you to fiddle with the timers on the explosives, which can be set to go off after some delay.

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Of course, as levels advance, you will come to progressively face more difficult challenges, and the rules of your environment will change. For example, structures will become taller, you will be given more sticks of dynamite (sometimes there will be different sized bundles) and you might have to avoid hitting nearby structures and objects.

Your overall progress is rated by a four-star system, which might encourage some perfectionists to replay the same levels over and over until they earn that perfect four-star score.

Aspects of this game feel original (I love that goofy stuffed bear), but the overall concept of Blow Up is not a new one. It's the same kind of idea that I've seen used in countless other Flash games.

Blow Up doesn't stand out for the way it looks, either. This game doesn't have the appeal of realistic 3D graphics or exciting sound effects. The design of the graphics aren't even especially interesting, but Blow Up makes up for not having all of the bells and whistles by running exceptionally well, without any hang-ups or freezes during gameplay.

I had one key issue with this game involving how its physics matched up with its programming. Sometimes, after my structure would collapse, it looked like my pile of rubble had fallen just below the line, but the game would indicate I had failed anyway.

All in all, this is a game that puzzle fans should definitely check out. It's a pretty simple game that's easy to pick up and play for short periods of time, but the growing challenge will keep you coming back for more.