Developer: Miniclip SA
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Problem: You like launching explosives in physics-based puzzle-worlds to kill enemies.
Solution: Angry Birds.
Residual problem: You really want to kill people, not pigs.
Better Solution: Fragger.
Fragger's a smooth-playing, cute, physics-based slaughterhouse a la Angry Birds, but you're throwing grenades instead of slingshotting feathered furies, at enemy people rather than pigs. Well, mainly people anyway. Sometimes your arc-enemies are bipedal aliens, but either way, you aren't just makin' bacon, you're snuffing out thinking, emotive, sentient life, presumeably with families, fond recollections of childhood, favorite sports and amusement park rides, and all the rest.
Oh don't be so maudlin. Fragger is just a video-game. They don't plead for their lives. They don't fire back. They don't run away. They don't so much as cross their fingers. Heck, they don't even spatter when they die. They just stand there just like the piggies in Angry Birds, waiting for you to hurl grenades to dislodge their cover and then blow them up.
The materials and weapons in Fragger are not as varied as those provided in some other games, but they are plenty interesting enough for moderately addictive mayhem. The puzzles are fun to figure out, and you will find yourself trying many approaches to solve the tougher ones with the requisite number of grenades.
You launch said grenades using the same sort of device you use to kick field goals in Madden: pull back, adjust the vertical angle and power of launch, and let fly. Since this side-view game is strictly two-dimensional, there's no chance you'll send the shot wide right or left. It's all about the x and y axes. One hint, and pretty much the only one you'll need: grenades take forever to explode. Press "abort" when you know you've wasted one to move to your next grenade faster.
The music and sound effects are competent, and the action builds compellingly through different worlds and levels of complexity. Fragger is a very playable little time-waster free of bugs or glitches, with just enough brain-teasing to help stave off Alzheimers if you're tired of crossword puzzles.
It's not a lovingly rendered, deep, three-dimensional, impossible-to-put-down breakthrough in immersive gameplay and storytelling—but then, it's not supposed to be. The worst thing you can do in Fragger is fail to kill everybody else, not die yourself. But it's really more about the puzzles than the pulverizing, so put on your only slightly bloodthirsty thinking-cap, spend the buck, and frag away.
Or, download the free version of Fragger and give it a walk-through first.