- Replay Value
Salvation is a free-to-play iPad app from Russian developer Foggybus. The game’s backstory is all about a courageous boy and his best friend, a dog, who happen to take a trip in the outer space. Why? Well, their house is stolen by aliens. As they travel from one planet to another, your mission is to help the young lad together with his canine to retrieve their home.
You start off your journey in planet Plankton, and you can unlock additional worlds via in-app purchase for $0.99. Every planet includes more than a dozen levels with the last stage featuring a boss battle. In a normal level, you will face off with loads of medium-sized monsters. Backgrounds and themes change each stage; however, the gameplay is unchanged from beginning to end. It’s a Pong-like mechanic where you have to be aware of the ball at all times and don’t let it hit the glass surface (behind your paddle bar) more than thrice, or else the game will be over. At the end of each level, you will be graded (three-star system) depending on your performance.
As far as the controls of the game are concerned, players use their left/right thumbs on both sides of their gadget to slide a vertical paddle-like bar. The trajectory of the ball that bounces from corner to corner of the screen will depend on how you hit it. Gamers should carefully plan out their attack and focus first on taking out the aliens. Some of the species even shoot an energy ball that you should prevent from hitting the wall behind your paddles. Other alien types will crystallize their whole body which forms a hard surface. Use it to your advantage by guiding the ball in that direction for more bounce, a la Pinball. Personally, I had fun bursting aliens. They differ in sizes, appearance and movement. As time pass by, the hordes of aliens will feel like an alien invasion on your screen.
One of the drawbacks I see is the gameplay may become repetitive after some time. Also, Salvation may probably need a tutorial to explain the gameplay mechanics, power-ups, etc. The game started beautifully with a comic book presentation, but they could have followed it up with an interactive tutorial or something along those lines.
All in all though, Salvation has a fun premise with vibrant and well-designed cartoony visuals. The character designs as well as the backdrop in this iPad app are all brimming with charm. With updates from the developer, they can easily fuse a more varied gameplay soon enough.
Note: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.