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Swipe This!: The Guide to Great Touchscreen Game Design by Scott Rogers

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Game Design Spotlight 2: Helsing’s Fire

9781119940531-pp0401.eps

Format: iOS (available in regular, lite, and HD versions)

Developer: Ratloop

Designer: Lucas Pope

When the implacable Professor Helsing and his assistant Raffton travel to The Shadow Blight, they need every weapon at their disposal to defeat Dracula’s vampire horde. In this captivating, dark Gothic puzzle-adventure, use Dr. Helsing’s powerful torch and tonics to save the world from the demonic uprising!

Helsing’s Fire is a puzzler that uses an engaging mechanic, has lots of attitude to spare, and dishes out horror and humor in equal measures. The primary action is simple and unique. The player must cast torchlight into an environment to illuminate the monsters lurking in the shadows. Once the monsters have been exposed, our stalwart heroes can blast them with different-colored tonics.

The game sets the humorous horror tone right away. In the opening cutscene, a copy of the London Times is illuminated by flashing lightning. A headline reads: “Skies growing ever darker” and “5 more local women missing. Time to panic says top detective.”

The game’s selection screen represents city streets shrouded in London fog. The whole map screen is alive with motion. The map elements are animated, which is a nice touch, since it’s unusual to see so much motion on a screen that didn’t need to have it. The fog seethes, lightning flashes (temporarily illuminating ...

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