Octopath: Champions of the Continent was originally planned to be this week’s featured game, but after being ferociously let down by its lack of meaningful content, near-instant grind wall, and clear pay-to-win tactics, I decided instead to go on a spelunking adventure into the dark corners of the Play Store to see what I could find.
Out of that expedition, I surfaced with a fun little physics puzzler in Line Blaster for Android.
Line Blaster takes you on a simple puzzle journey to get a ball to a goal by drawing lines. Similar to Scalak, this is exactly the kind of simple puzzle game that gets a chance to truly shine on mobile. The concept and controls of Line Blaster are not complex in the slightest, but the execution proves to be more challenging than you might think.
Each level in Line Blaster gives you a fixed set of conditions that you need to work around to get your ball from its launch point to the goal. Once a ball is launched out of the starting point on a set trajectory, you need to help it navigate around walls, platforms, spikes, and other obstacles, all while trying to collect three stars, before it lands safely in the goal.
You do this by drawing lines before you hit play, so there’s a fun element of anticipation as you wait and see if the lines you chose are even remotely close to working out in your favor. You might fail quite a few times before making it to the goal, but there’s no penalty for this, and you can erase and redraw your lines to correct course.
The early levels are quite easy, but later levels start to add in some wild variations, like fans, extra balls, and moving platforms, to keep things interesting and challenging.
There’s also an in-game hint system to help you out if you get stuck. You can earn up to three hints by completing levels without using them, and each level in turn can provide you with up to three hints. These are progressively doled out in the form of dotted lines for the player to follow.
Hints aren’t always a guarantee for success though, as many of the levels have an element of timing involved, particularly when there are moving parts or more than one ball involved (don’t laugh). This is actually one of my main complaints about the gameplay, as timing feels incredibly random; like I’m just rolling the dice and seeing if I make it to the goal or not.
It’s hard to nitpick such a minimal game, but I do also wish that the audio design was a bit punchier. Maybe this is just the pinball machine junkie in me talking, but I think it would add to the fun and make the game feel a little more vibrant if you could hear your ball pinging around levels as it bounces off walls and lines.
On the plus side, the game's soundtrack is pretty fun and jazzy, rather than adhering to the chill ambient trend that so many other minimalistic puzzle games go for.
It’s also a little annoying that your lines can only be erased in order of when you drew them, so if my first and third lines are perfectly in position, but my second line sucks, I still have to erase the third line to backtrack and edit the second line. I think it would be an improvement if the developer could find a way to make lines erasable by tapping on them, rather than relying on an undo button for all lines.
That being said, Line Blaster is a great physics-based mobile puzzle game that is sure to delight puzzle fans of all ages. It’s also free to play, monetized through ads, unless you choose to pay a one-time in-app purchase of $2.99 to remove them. If you ask me, that’s a pretty fair price for 100 levels of quality puzzling.
Draw lines to guide your ball to the goal in this simplistic, satisfying physics puzzler.
Download from: Google Play Store
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A lifelong gamer, Mogan has had a controller in hand since the PlayStation 1 ruled the world and Neopets seemed eternal. She loves to play new and old games alike, especially if it's something weird and charming. Puzzlers, JRPGs, adventure, and rhythm games are her favorites.