Boulders Never Die
So there you are minding your own business (as red balls usually do) when BAM BAM BAM! Boulders start falling out of the sky! Lucky for you, you just happen to have an assortment of blocks that will make a nice rubbery fortress to keep those bullies at bay.
Boulders Never Die, from Brian Campbell, is a fantastic physics-based action puzzle game. The premise is quite simple: boulders never die, and you do. If the red ball touches a boulder or any of your own blocks the level is over. Points are earned each second you are alive, and to win you simply have to achieve the point goal for that stage. Each level puts you in a unique location, from pyramids to igloos, in which you must use the environment and your handy-dandy blocks to construct some sort of shelter for your little red ball. With only two types of blocks at your disposal (initially) you must quickly figure out a basic defense strategy. After you finish a level you can go back and play it again to try and earn a high score, or try it in free play mode where you will have 20 blocks to work with instead of the usual ten you are given.
As we all know there are exceptions to every rule, and this remains true in Boulder Never Die. You will lose a level if the ball touches one of your blocks, but if it just taps a block and moves away quickly enough you might just get away with it. This tactic is very useful in several stages. Playing the tutorial will give you a good head-start on what to expect from the rest of the game as well as a chance to practice the tap method of moving the ball. While this isn't the only trick you'll have up your sleeve, it's certainly one of the most useful.
Analysis: All things considered, Boulders Never Die is a great game, but it does have a few minor drawbacks worth mentioning. With only six main levels and two unlockables it's a pretty short experience, and once you get a good strategy going it will only take a few tries to beat each stage. There is somewhat of a luck factor here as well. You may have a great structure built, but if a boulder hits a corner in just the wrong way it could cause the whole thing to tumble. Or maybe you have a not-so-great structure but the first boulder to land happens to sit nicely on the top of it providing that extra weight to keep the rest of your fortress in check.
None of these factors should prevent you from playing this game, however. If you've got a couple hours free, or if you're looking for a game that you can play on your coffee break, you should definitely try Boulders Never Die.
Download the full version (free, 7MB)