There's not much of a story behind Demolition Inc. on Android. Mike the UFO demolition man, er - alien, has orders to take out one city after the next, and you get to control all the chaos. This game starts out very strong, with cars careening around the road and knocking over buildings. A strong opening can't carry a game all the way to the finish line, though. While Demolition Inc. has some some problems, there is a lot to like about it.
In each zone, you're presented with a number of buildings to take out. The game tracks how long you take to do so, but there is no hard time limit. The faster you take down buildings, though, the more points you can get through multipliers. The time you take to complete a stage, along with your score will determine how many stars you get. New cities are unlocked only when you have enough stars.
Now that all the fine print at the bottom of the work order is taken care of, it's time to smash some buildings. The weapons at your disposal are quirky, to say the least. The game starts you off with oil slicks and glue - the simple stuff. You have to use these to send cars flying into nearby buildings. It takes a little practice, but I found it fairly easy to pick up. From there, Demolition Inc. starts tossing in new abilities like remote controlling cars, and the always deadly exploding cow.
After the first few levels, the cities start to become less a source of constant chaotic destruction, and more a maze of carefully placed weak points. I was initially pleased with the attention to detail displayed here. You often need to send a car skidding a certain way to hit a partially-blocked explosive drum. Without that, you'll never be able to knock down that pesky building. After a few stages of this, it started to feel a little monotonous to me. I expected more giant chain-reaction explosions, but who wouldn't?
Demolition Inc. does mange to pick up a bit after a few more cities with the introduction of new weapons, and some genuinely fun levels. The best part of the game is the over-the-top weapons like the earthquake bomb, and the wrecking ball. The most powerful (and fun) weapons are usually provided to you when you've salvaged enough material from the carnage to buy it. The cut off isn't too high, but it's another thing that makes the game a little less fun than it should be.
The selection of tools will vary from level to level, which seems unnecessary. I just want to cause chaos my way. The only way to lose a level is to run out of weapons, which will happen in some of them if you don't plan carefully. Some buildings have caches on top with additional ammo, so make sure to take those out early.
This game might have its fair share of tedious levels, but the Rampage mode is much more what I was hoping for with this title. As you go through the campaign, more weapons and stages are unlocked for Rampage. In this mode, you get a healthy number of weapons, and free reign to demolish the city as fast as possible.
The control scheme for Demolition Inc. is pretty solid. You press and drag to place your obstacles, and the game is smart enough to use offset placement so you can see what you're doing. The item will hover a few pixels in front of your finger and will be dropped right there when you let go. You can pan across the screen by dragging, and zoom control is handled with the expected two-finger gestures.
Because Demolition Inc. is played on a 3D surface, you will, on occasion, have to check out a building from another perspective to see what's holding it up. Or perhaps you need to get a better view down a street so you know when a car is coming. There is a virtual scroll wheel at the bottom of the screen, in the center. This lets you rotate the camera, and I found it works very well.
Some weapons also have their own control method. For example, when you remote control a car, you go into a third-person view and use two arrow buttons to steer. The wrecking ball uses your device's accelerometer to control the movement of what could be a giant rolling ball of death (when used correctly).
Graphics and Sound
The graphics in Demolition Inc. are very attractive. There isn't much in the way of noticeable aliasing on the edges, and buildings have about the right amount of detail up close. The explosions and crumbling structures are good-looking as well.
The real visual treat is the way the game handles the physics of the world. In many ways, Demolition Inc. is a physics simulator first, and a game second. Everything that occurs is generated as it happens. There are no predetermined outcomes, so hitting a building with a car in the same place twice could get you two different results. While I appreciate how cool that is, it does serve to make some of those tedious stages that much more annoying.
The background music is nothing special; I tend to forget it's there after a while. The sound effects are what you'd expect from explosions. Demolition Inc. gets the point across, but it's not the sort of game best experienced with headphones. There's no dialog in the game at all, which is a shame. Mike the UFO guy seems like an affable individual. Surely he would have some jolly things to say as you explode cows and launch cars off ramps.
Demolition Inc. is an attractive game, and the physics are definitely fun to play with. However, I feel like the level of precision required in some levels, along with a ton of trial and error, isn't what most players were expecting. Most of the levels are good, and some are incredibly fun. Rolling a giant wrecking ball around the city to knock over buildings is great, but there isn't enough of that. Too much of your time is spent carefully lining up a car to slip between two buildings and hit a gas tank. That Rampage mode, though, is killer.
This game is $3.99 in the Play Store, but it's just for Tegra devices right now. Demolition Inc. will be coming to non-Tegra phone and tablets on or after April 26th, according to the game's description in the Play Store. Should you spend $3.99 on this game? I wouldn't say no, but there are better games you should play first.