Genesis 11 tells the story of an ambitious people. Armed with a common language and purpose, they decided to build a tower that would reach to the very heavens. But, as the familiar story goes, God decided to confuse them with different languages and the massive building project was abandoned—preserving God’s sovereignty and creating linguistics in one fell swoop.
Babel Rising, an iPhone game from BulkyPix, lets you literally play God—though in this case you’re not armed with the non-lethal “language confusion” power. Instead, you get to choose from things like lightning, fire from heaven, floods, wind, and earthquakes. Oh, and the all-purpose Finger of God. As wave after wave of tiny Babylonians build up the tower, your goal is to hold them off as long as possible.
Each of the powers charges at different rates, and allowing them to charge more fully makes them more powerful, finishing off more humans at once. You get bonus multipliers for stringing together a sequence of actions, but while you’re waiting for everything to recharge the tower continues to rise. Occasionally, the Eye of God will blink and grow, and you can tap it to destroy one level of the tower—but you’re only delaying the inevitable, of course. The actions are all performed with various taps and swipes—a vertical one-finger swipe brings lightning, and two fingers rain down fireballs. Horizontal swipes cause tidal waves and wind, and shaking the iPhone causes an earthquake. The Finger of God charges the most quickly but only takes out a couple people at a time—you literally squash them with your finger.
It’s a really fun game, and pretty challenging. It reminds me a little of another iPhone app, Pocket God, but that one is more of a toy whereas Babel Rising has a specific goal in mind. The graphics are terrific, from the menus to the tiny humans carrying their bricks and stones, and the sound effects are just right. The OpenFeint connection means you can compare your scores and achievements with friends and the global leaderboards.
Babel Rising is $.99 on iTunes and includes two difficulties, Classic and Divine, but there’s also an in-game shop to buy Fury mode and Campaign mode for $.99 each.
Wired: A fun twist on the Tower of Babel, with excellent graphics and intuitive controls, all for a buck..
Tired: Not exactly Biblically accurate, but a more literal take wouldn’t make a very interesting game.
Note: GeekDad received a free download for review.