ReactionLab – Indie app of the day

June 17, 2014
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What is ReactionLab

ReactionLab is a game currently in the Google Play Store for $0.99. It has retro, 8-bit graphics and is based on the popular game Falling Sand. You draw things much like you would in Microsoft Paint except that each color is actually an element of some sort. You mix and match elements and create reactions.

The official point of the game is to find all of the possible reactions. What’s great is that there are a metric ton of reactions. Other than that very loose construct, you’re pretty much free to do whatever you want. Think of it like if you mixed Mario Paint with Bill Nye the Science Guy. It’s technically a game although you can find ways of enjoying yourself without actually playing anything. Oh, and it’s based on science.

Where this game really shines is the freedom. If you want to use the glass element to draw a jar, fill it with vinegar, and then put a plant in there to create a pickled vegetable then that is something you can do. You can then drop some baking soda into the jar and make it all explode. You can make trees then set them on fire if you prefer or see what happens when you build a lake and drop lava in. There are a total of 21 elements in the free version and over 40 in the paid version.

The only potential issues are your intelligence and your attention span. If you’re adept at beating games like this then you’ll likely be done quickly and if your attention span is short then you may get bored after a while. If you play the game to win, you’re likely not going to enjoy as much as those who would rather goof around. In order to enjoy this game, you have to put your serious gamer side aside and let the goofball inside of you roam free. Then you’ll enjoy this game a lot more.

ReactionLab screenshot

What if Mario Paint and Bill Nye had a baby?

PROS
  • Open, 'sanbox' style lets you roam free with your creativity.
  • Free and paid versions available.
  • If you're a fan of science then you'll likely enjoy this game.
  • Some people are a fan of 8-bit graphics.
  • Over 45 achievements to grab.
  • There are a metric ton of things you can draw and create.
CONS
  • Kind of short if you intend only on playing it to beat it and move on.
  • Some people don't like 8-bit graphics.
  • Can get boring if you're not into this kind of stuff.
  • Could use some sound effects
7.5
Overall, it’ll be worth the $0.99 for most people and you can try the free version to see if you like the premise. It’s not revolutionary but it is definitely fun. Just be cautious if you’re a serious gamer because this isn’t built to be a serious game.
google play

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