Bloody Fun Day is a bloody fun game in which you — The Grim Reaper — dole out bloody death to adorable muppets, because it’s just bloody fun. Cute as the muppet-like creatures may be, however, Death himself is cuter still. If he had any cheeks, you’d just want to pinch them grandma-style, he’s so bloody lovable. And maybe that’s why he’s so keen on on killing the muppets:
“I’M NOT LOVABLE,” he screams into the night. “I’M DEATH!!!”
Aw! Of course you are, dear. Would you like a cookie and a glass of milk? Yes, there’s a dear. Munch, munch, my little reapy-poo.
Blood Fun Day is the iPhone port of a Flash game that’s been around for some time, and free to play on the Internet. Play Bloody Fun Day online.
The game takes place on a grid of hexagons. The reaper leaps from space-to-space, killing four colors of muppet-like creatures — red, yellow, blue and black. When the reaper kills a muppet, any adjacent muppets of like color will chain together and will also be killed. For every kill made, Death will reap the muppets’ souls, feeding his powers.
Death has six powers at his disposal, allowing him to leap, shoot lasers, double his soul intake, strike any position on the board, and more. Each power is fueled by either blue, yellow or black souls and must be charged by reaping a requisite number of souls before it can be used.
Death begins the game with 20 hearts, and loses one heart for each move he makes. When Death runs out of hearts, he himself will die. Killing red muppets will replenish some of Death’s hearts. Managing your heart allotment — thereby extending your lifespan — is the key to building high scores.
Bloody Fun Day becomes tricky, however. First of all, Death cannot retrace his steps; where he walks, the earth dies and cannot be tread upon again. At least, not for a while. Because of this, it’s important to think several moves ahead at all times, lest you trap yourself such that the only available moves are undesirable.
Secondly, slain muppets will leave eggs behind. Cracking eggs will penalize your score, so you should avoid them as well as you can. After a set number of turns, the eggs will hatch into new muppets, ripe for slaying. When eggs hatch, any dead earth will be revitalized and occupied by new eggs, which will hatch on the next cycle. A turn counter allows you to easily see when eggs will hatch, when the level will increase, or when your reaper will expire. As levels increase, eggs will take longer to hatch and the board will refresh less frequently, forcing you to move more cautiously.
When 10 kills are chained together, a golden egg will appear somewhere on the grid. You will want to get to this egg as quickly as possible, before it hatches. While you should generally avoid breaking eggs, cracking the golden egg will net you a cool 5,000 points.
Strategy: Bloody Fun Day is a very strategic game. The combination of dead earth and eggs forces you to think several moves ahead. Meanwhile, you must also contend with your ever-depleting heart supply, while managing soul collection to fuel the use of your powers. Collecting black souls grants you Fire Blast, allowing you to strike anywhere on the board; it’s great when red muppets or golden eggs are out-of-reach. Blue souls allow you to perform the Harvest, doubling your soul intake; use it to quickly replenish your hearts when slaying groups of red muppets, or to quickly stock souls for one of your powers. Yellow souls power Vampiric Touch, allowing you to drain hearts from groups of any color.
Presentation: Adorable, colorful characters. Catchy tunes.
Cramped for Space: Sadly, Bloody Fun Day has suffered a bit in being translated to the iPhone’s small display. Due to the lesser screen real estate, it can be difficult to select spaces on the grid with precision. The icons for your powers can be difficult to make out or discern meaning from until you become more familiar with them, and the powers do not have textual descriptions as they do in the Flash version of the game. You’re basically left to figure out through trial and error what the powers actually do. Much of the visual flair of the Flash game has also been removed in order to size-down the game’s interface.
What’s Missing: Originally, the Flash game offered a tutorial mode, five-level mode and unlimited mode. The iPhone port maintains only the tutorial and unlimited game modes, with the five-level mode having gone missing. Played on Kongregate, Bloody Fun Day also had achievements. The iPhone version does not. I’d love to see these things restored to the iPhone game, with achievements being integrated via OpenFeint.
Overall, Bloody Fun Day makes for a bloody fun casual strategy game. It’s easy to pick up and play in short bursts, and difficult to put down when you really have time to play. I am sorry that the game has lost a bit in coming to the iPhone and gained nothing in return — the Flash version remains the definitive version — but that’s certainly no reason to pass the game by. I will say, however, that I prefer playing the game on the iPad in 2x mode, as the larger form-factor makes the grid easier to manage. I would love to see Bloody Fun Day updated to become a universal app, making use of the iPad’s larger display to restore the UI elements that were sacrificed to accommodate the iPhone.
All wishing aside, though, Bloody Fun Day really is a bloody good game and deserves your attention. The Flash version is free to play, so you owe it to yourself at least to try the game. And once you’ve fallen in love with The Adorable Reaper, you can keep him in your pocket for just $0.99.
Bloody Fun Day is made by The Binary Mill, and was reviewed on an iPhone 3G and an iPad. App Store link: Bloody Fun Day / $0.99.