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iPhone: Bionic Surfer: New Platformer

06-05-2009, 08:27 PM
#1
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 11,139
Bionic Surfer: New Platformer

This title caught my eyes while browsing through recent additions to the App Store. I've got a kind heart (and a real job), so I TOFTT for you all.






Here's the developer description:

Blast your way through hordes of invading aliens in Bionic Surfer, a stunning new action/adventure game exclusively created for the iPhone and iPod Touch!

Aliens have invaded Earth and several nearby colonies, and it's up to you to find out how to stop them. Guided by a mysterious general, you will travel to several planets around the solar system, and beyond. Uncover the truth about your past to discover why only you stand a chance at stopping the alien invasion.

• GALACTIC ADVENTURE
Explore five unique worlds with 20 different levels!

• DISCOVER A VAST ARSENAL
Nine different weapons can be found that will aid you in your fight against the invaders.

• DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENTS
Interact with exploding barrels, bounce plates, moving platforms, conveyor belts, and much more!

• STUNNING GRAPHICS
Experience some of the most impressive graphics and animation you've ever seen!

• RAGDOLL PHYSICS
A unique 2D model format allows for realistic and entertaining ragdoll physics when enemies are destroyed.

• QUICKSAVE
Exit the game at any time and continue from where you left off.


So far I'm really enjoying the game. The graphics are sharp (though I wouldn't call them stunning, and certainly not the best I've ever seen), the framerate quite smooth, and the gameplay is a pleasant variety of action, puzzles, and RPG-lite leveling. The game has an actual story (a rare thing on the App Store): not an original one, mind you, but it certainly adds depth and interest.

The biggest drawback is the control scheme -- it's much too crowded, so it's easy to hit the wrong button, particularly when fighting the level bosses, when the action gets pretty frenetic. The ragdoll animation is pretty cool, but the character looks a bit stiff when walking around. For a nicely polished game, the menus are kind of ugly.

All in a, though, this is a strong game. The control scheme could certainly be improved with a developer update. So far I've played through the first world (Earth) in about 45 minutes, so my guess is that there's about 4 hours of gameplay -- not bad for $.99 (intro price).

Here's the link: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=317852744&mt=8

Last edited by squarezero; 06-05-2009 at 08:39 PM.
06-05-2009, 08:40 PM
#2
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Earth
Posts: 5,252
First Impressions

OK so I decided to TOFTT as well. Though you do not like the control systems I am liking it. It's the best kind for this game.

The game although a platformer has a nice twist because you also go around collecting weapons and such. You gotta go around collecting crystals to keep teleporting though different locations on Earth to stop the alien invasion.

The game also has a nice quicksave. And graphics are nice. Anyways just some very first impressions to further support squarezero's impressions.

BTW: The instructions are awesome | It's sorta interactive as you go though the level and adds to the story plot.

P.S: Cool! You have free control of the gun if you zoom out a bit.

I'M ON A MAC MOTHAF*@%!

Cloudcell, Plus+, Baseball Slugger, TTR: dannys95

Last edited by dannys95; 06-05-2009 at 08:57 PM.

06-05-2009, 08:58 PM
#3
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 11,139
Thanks for mentioning the weapons and the instructions/plot reveals, danny95 -- they are indeed big pluses. As to the controls, I find myself constantly hunting-and-pecking to find the right button; not bad as you make your way through the standard levels, but kind of awkward when you're fighting a boss. Perhaps your fingers are smaller than mine...

Obviously, any game that features a surfer (in bermuda shorts, natch) wielding huge energy weapons has got have a zany sense of humor.
06-05-2009, 09:00 PM
#4
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,509
Um, the guy's wearing nothing but a towel. I'm guessing the setting is California?

Edit: Oooh, bermuda shorts, right... The weapons intrigue me, however.
06-05-2009, 09:13 PM
#5
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Earth
Posts: 5,252
Really liking the story / interactive tutorial. Graphics are nice though I do wish that when you hopped on the hover board there was some sort of animation. Oh well. I also like how you can shoot things like the explosive barrels to take down your enemies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by squarezero View Post
Thanks for mentioning the weapons and the instructions/plot reveals, danny95 -- they are indeed big pluses. As to the controls, I find myself constantly hunting-and-pecking to find the right button; not bad as you make your way through the standard levels, but kind of awkward when you're fighting a boss. Perhaps your fingers are smaller than mine...

Obviously, any game that features a surfer (in bermuda shorts, natch) wielding huge energy weapons has got have a zany sense of humor.
No problem. Meh, maybe you have huge fingers. They're working fine for me. It did get a bit awkward when fighting a boss; but not much. It was not a huge problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamazar View Post
Um, the guy's wearing nothing but a towel. I'm guessing the setting is California?

Edit: Oooh, bermuda shorts, right... The weapons intrigue me, however.
LOL, yeah.

I'M ON A MAC MOTHAF*@%!

Cloudcell, Plus+, Baseball Slugger, TTR: dannys95
06-06-2009, 12:15 AM
#6
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 143
He's not wearing a towel, he's wearing boardshorts, they are a straight rip off of the 4 year old Any Irons Signature Billabong boardshorts. Kind of cool, even though I hate any irons, slater's way better, errr sry starting to rant. Interesting game, too bad theres no actual surfing in it.
06-06-2009, 03:30 PM
#7
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 6
This is the developer of Bionic Surfer, and I'm glad some of you are liking the game so far! I just finished creating a gameplay video on Youtube, so you can get a preview before buying it.

Gameplay Video

Deciding on the controls was tricky. Originally, there wasn't even the auto-aim feature or fire button, so you had to tap where you wanted to shoot (like in zoom mode). Needless to say, the game was way too hard and that changed after some beta testing. The current controls are the best arrangement I could come up with up till now, but I'm open to suggestions.

For future updates, the most logical choice would be to add more levels to the game. I haven't decided if they will be fit into the story, or just be extra levels for people to play for fun. I'm playing with the idea of making the level editor available (on Mac OS X) for fans to design levels for a future update. Still not sure about that one though.

Anyway, I'm happy to answer questions about the game if anyone has any, and I'm open to suggestions for later updates. Be aware that things like "ragdolls don't fade" are actually impossible, due to the processing power of the iPhone.

Last edited by robertc; 06-10-2009 at 01:55 PM.
06-06-2009, 05:10 PM
#8
Joined: Dec 2008
Location: Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 11,139
Thanks for jumping into the fray, Robert. Bionic Surfer is the kind of game that showcases the value of indy development: I can't imagine such a crazy concept making it out of a management meeting at EA. I'm actually getting used to the control scheme, but perhaps there's a way to cluster them so that there are fewer mis-hits when the action speeds up. New levels would be appreciated eventually, of course, but I'm still in Venus, so I have ways to go. Perhaps the Surfer's movement could be made a tad more fluid. In any event, thanks for the cool game -- hope it gets the attention it deserves (hint, hint, arn, hoddap, and Big Al).
06-07-2009, 07:31 PM
#9
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Earth
Posts: 5,252
Just finished the game. A-W-E-S-O-M-E ! Though, I smell a sequel.

Level editor would kick butt.

I'M ON A MAC MOTHAF*@%!

Cloudcell, Plus+, Baseball Slugger, TTR: dannys95
06-07-2009, 07:34 PM
#10
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 5,712
I just started the second planet, and I am having a lot of fun. This has a really quirky, cool style to it. Controls aren't perfect, but they are entirely serviceable.