Game Reviews

Physics Gamebox

Star onStar onStar onStar halfStar off
| Physics Gamebox
Physics Gamebox
| Physics Gamebox

Galileo and Newton would have had so much more fun if instead of dropping objects from a large height, they had been able to experiment with physics using their iPhones.

With activities including throwing ragdolls down stairs, firing ragdolls out of cannons, firing angry birds at pigs, and using grenades to blow up complex structures, not to mention all those bridge-building games, the pair of mathematical genii might not have had any time to get their work done.

Thanks to FDG Entertainment, and Russia developer Johnny-K, the 300 levels of Physics Gamebox should be enough to keep anyone going for hours.

What's in the box?

The gamebox part of the title comes because this is two separate games in one. The first is a version of Johnny-K's original Flash game Ragdoll Cannon.

As you'd expect, this involves firing ragdolls out of your cannon. You tap anywhere on the screen to set the trajectory. The farther away you tap from the cannon, the more powerful the shot.

To complete each level, your ragdolls must travel over and through various obstacles in order to hit the target marked HERE, which is usually cleverly positioned somewhere tricky within the level.

From levers to rolling balls, rotating paddles, chains, springs and hinges, the setups become increasingly fiendish. And with 200 to play through, that's plenty of fiendishness.

Luckily, you can skip over up to four levels so if you get really stuck it's not the end of the game.

Equally, while some levels can only be solved with precise single shots - usually these are highly dynamic situations - many can be solved by rapidly firing ragdolls as if from a machine gun. Simple fun.

Dividing line

The second game in the box, Roly-Poly Cannon, also previously a Johnny-K Flash game, is more sophisticated.

Like Angry Birds meet Fragger, it has you firing timed bombs from your cannon. The contrast between the heavy bombs and the light ragdolls is instant, as are the more polished graphics and deeper gameplay.

Part of the reason for this is that while you have to blow up the bad Roly-Polys characters, you're not allowed to destroy any of the good Roly-Polys. Obviously, as you get further into the 100 levels, the proximity of the two groups become increasingly tightly conjoined.

Further complicating the situation are environmental hazards such as fiery pits and bombs, so as well as not blowing up the good guys you have to keep them from rolling into these dangers.

And it's the cunning of the level design that makes Roly-Poly Cannon really fun.

Many of the puzzles are elegantly balanced, requiring precision in your timing and your shots. Luckily, when you fail a level, the position of your last shot, as displayed by a crosshair, is maintained so you can tweak it accordingly.

All-in-all, then, while Physics Gamebox doesn't offer anything we haven't played before, it does offer enormous value with two fun games and hundreds of levels that will frustrate and entertain. Certainly more enjoyable than your physics homework.

Physics Gamebox

Containing two enjoyable yet different ragdoll cannon games and 300 levels, Physics Gamebox offers great value for money