The Ricochet Kills series
When it was first released Ricochet kills was a simple physics based puzzle shooter. The game itself, and it’s core gameplay, have actually changed little, from when it was first released. But there have been some significant additions added to each new incarnation of the game making it more addicting to play with each new installment.
The very first Ricochet Kills was actually quite straightforward. The soon to be familiar hitman in a trenchcoat was introduced and the objective of the game was to take out targets placed in different areas throughout the level using shots that ricocheted around the environment. Using these shots properly and the physics behind the shots was was made it so addicting and fun to play. Taking out targets in succession earned you more points than taking out single targets, and with each level, you were given 10 shots. The now familiar control scheme of using the mouse to aim and firing with the left click button was introduced here. The control scheme has never been changed. Also, the level editor was first introduced. Here you could customize your own level and play it or play levels made by other players.
The second installment of the series was a little more different than first. Though the core gameplay was still the same a lot of new features in gameplay, and graphics were added. Graphically, the targets and the hitman were now distinguishably different. The hitman retained his trenchchoat look, but the targets now wore suits and now had ragdoll physics when shot. The blood was also now more evident. Overall, the graphics were crisper, cleaner, and much clearer.
Gameplay-wise, a lot of new features were added. Though you were given less shots, the targets could now be taken down using a lot of new objects in the environment like exploding barrels, wrecking balls, crates and collapsing environments. It was also a bit amusing to see that these pieces of the environment could actually hurt the hitman if he were in the way, himself. However, this did not happen often in the game. Generally, there were a lot more options added to cause mayhem in the levels and take out the targets in Ricochet Kills 2. The level editor was also retained.
In the third installment of the series, the destructive objects in the game were retained with the addition of a switch which when fired on, opened new areas where targets would be protected. Opening these areas, plus even lesser ammo in some levels, made this installment more of a brainier version from the others. There was also a new reload feature added where you could reload your gun but targets became live again. The puzzle element was heavily focused, and you really had to plan your shots. The level editor was also scrapped in favor of an achievements system.
Ricochet Kills Players Pack, was an extended version of the first game. The extended game featured the same shooting and puzzle gameplay, and the level editor, but added new levels and some graphical differences like the addition of a reticle on the screen on each level.
The second players pack in the series featured the same gameplay elements as Ricochet Kills 2 and 3. Elements from both games were used and it was evident, the extension pack was a combination of both games. The destructive elements of the environment returned, but hitting the targets was also just as challenging. The switch was taken out but targets could still be placed in difficult to reach areas in the level. This meant you still had to plan your shots and use the physics engine in the game fully to your advantage. The level editor also returned, with extra levels from Ricochet Kills 3 being unlocked by finishing all the levels with 250 shots.
Overall the series is true to it’s puzzle shooter roots. Though violent, the games don’t rely on violence and a trigger happy finger. The emphasis is instead on planned shots that use the environment and the physics of the ricocheting bullet to the fullest.