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Game Info:

Gunpowder
Developed by: Rogue Rocket Games
Published by: Rogue Rocket Games
Released: July 8, 2015
Available on: Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android
Genre: Puzzle
ESRB rating: E 10+
Number of players: 1
Price: $9.99 (Steam, developer's Web site), $2.99 (iOS), $3.99 (Android)
(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Thank you, Rogue Rocket Games, for sending us this game to review!

Puzzle games often provide a fun challenge that encourages a lot of thinking as well. But you know what would make puzzle games even more fun? Explosions. Lots of explosions. I don't know, maybe it's because I'm a guy. But a puzzle game where you could blow up everything sure sounds like a great idea, doesn't it?

Fortunately, there's a puzzle game out there that can satisfy both the urges to solve puzzles and make things go BOOM at the same time. In addition, it's set in the Old West, and contains a fun soundtrack. Who could ask for more?

In the game, a greedy mine owner named Grimshaw is portrayed by a wolf. He works his miners hard and barely pays them. One day, a young fox is inspired by the story of Robin Hood and sets out to change things. Donning a mask, he calls himself Incendio and sets out to rob the rich and give it to the poor. However, instead of using Robin Hood's trademark bow and arrow, Incendio's weapon of choice includes dynamite and kegs of gunpowder. 

Gunpowder
Highlights:

Strong Points: Explosions! Clever graphics, fun music
Weak Points: No level editor; some puzzles could be too difficult for younger players
Moral Warnings: Rob from the rich and give to the poor; can blow nearly everything up!

The gameplay itself consists of looking at the screen from above at a Western scene. You have to draw lines of gunpowder, place explosive kegs, and sometimes manipulate turntables in order to blow up Grimshaw's safe. In addition, there are three piggy banks in each level that can be blown up, and many of the levels also feature hidden trophies. Collecting piggy banks is important to the game – the more piggy banks are collected, the more levels will be unlocked. Drawing lines of gunpowder or placing kegs is as simple as clicking and dragging. The game offers useful tutorials with each new gameplay element introduced. The controls are simple and intuitive, giving you more time to focus more on solving each challenge, rather than remembering what button to click.

The challenges contain a nice variety. In many of the levels, you can take your time to figure out where to place kegs and lines of gunpowder. In others, there can be a strict time limit enforced – if you're too slow, a train could push the piggy banks off the screen and make it unobtainable. In a few of the more advanced levels, you will have to draw lines of gunpowder while they are still burning in order to finish the puzzle. In any case, the variety of puzzles and solutions means that the game doesn't get old. Each level is scored based on how many bonus items you get, how much gunpowder is left in your reserves, and the speed of which you find the solution. Each level has leaderboards so you can compare your score with other players. Except for the aforementioned examples, you can still finish the puzzles without hitting the time bonus, so there's no penalty for being slow if you prefer a patient approach. Even so, there can be multiple solutions to each challenge, and you can really have fun trying to figure out how to solve a puzzle with less gunpowder or in less time.

Gunpowder
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 90%
Gameplay - 17/20
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 9/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 92%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

The music to the game is wonderful, filled with the spirit of adventure that you can find from some of the action-packed Western movies. Some of the tunes also seem reminiscent of the Oregon Trail franchise, full of action and a desire to see what lies beyond. The graphics are great as well – the gameplay consists of rendered computer graphics, but the characters are more traditional, cel-shaded in appearance. It never gets old seeing Grimshaw throw a temper tantrum every time his safe gets blown up. The story between the different areas is portrayed through a set of comic strip panels which are extremely sparse on words. 

Despite the wanton destruction that takes place, no animal gets injured or killed. The whole theme of the game is to rob a wealthy mine owner, but it wouldn't be much of a Robin Hood story without that central theme. Other than those aspects, there isn't more to worry about in terms of morality. In fact, my kids enjoyed watching some of the levels, too. The younger ones didn't have the patience to try and solve some of the puzzles, though.

All in all, Gunpowder is a real blast to play. The only thing that might be missing would be a level editor, so people can create and share their own challenges. It's a great game for those who like puzzles and explosions. For those with destructive tendencies and constructive minds, it's a great game to add to their library.

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About Us:

Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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