Physics Games and Physics-Based Game Downloads

Defend Your Monochromatic Turret in Red

Saturday, July 7th, 2007 by Christopher J. in Physics Games
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Rate this game! 76 votes, average: 3.70 out of 5)

Red is a wonderfully simple game using realistic physics to take the Missile Command concept to a new level with a greater suspension of disbelief and emotional intensity. You can find Red floating around any number of flash gaming sites, but it is oddly missing from Armor Games (the game’s credited source).

Simple Concept Goes a Long Way

I really appreciate the simplicity of Red because its physics inherently produce room for strategic thought. The player uses the mouse to blast small balls from a round turret at much larger balls hurtling downward from the sky. Each interaction between your “bullets” and the slowly approaching “meteors” applies realistic physics, bouncing the bullets out in different directions and pushing the oncoming meteors up and away. Just selecting the part of a meteor to shoot is a challenge when you only have a fraction of a second. Also, the chaotic spray of bouncing bullets can be used to your advantage when they bounce off of one target and into another. This suggests an interesting multi-tasking element when you must blast 2 or 3 meteors at the same time, but the concept is mostly unexplored.

Massive Impact

After 30 seconds or so, power-ups will show up, allowing you to obtain a force field, supporting turrets or (my personal favorite) extra heavy bullets that pound the sky clean and ricochet into the ground, leaving dark, gaping holes. Those slugs really demonstrate the effect physics can have on a game experience. Each physical interaction lets you know you’re not just hurling a bunch of pixels, you’re packing mass! This is what separates Red from a non-physics game like Missile command.

Unexercised Variety

Occasionally, a particularly gargantuan ball will arise, marking the end of a phase and the beginning of a greater difficulty level. Just as one would expect, higher levels mean more and faster balls to shoot, but they’re also the harbingers of new wind-speeds. Changing wind effects keep things dicey, forcing you to compensate for the curvature of your bullets’ trajectories. Unfortunately, that’s when the game’s variety peters out, which is disappointing because a great deal of even simple possibilities were ignored (like meteors with less predictable trajectories, a moving turret or zooming out to shoot at longer ranges). After a few minutes of play you’ve seen all that’s worth seeing and you’re probably just hoping you’ll die an honorable death at the hands of a meteor instead of exiting the game like a coward. That’s a place I never like to be.

Red Screenshot Screenshot of Physics Games
(Red Flash Game Screenshots)

10% of a Great Game

Overall I found Red to be a really fantastic basis for a game, but it feels more like a demo than a full experience. Click the “About” button and the mysterious creator, ” Case,” suggests Red is the beginning of a series of chromatically named games. Orange was the only one I could find available and I wasn’t impressed.

Red is free so give it a go, but don’t expect to be entertained for longer than a few minutes. Let’s hope our friend Case has some new concepts up his sleeve for the next project. He demonstrates an excellent use of the mouse interface and basic physics to produce an intuitive and entertaining game.

Play Red Online (Flash required)

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7 Responses to 'Defend Your Monochromatic Turret in Red'

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  1. on July 7th, 2007 at 7:30 pm

    Lovely game, and a nice review!

  2. Isaac said,

    on July 7th, 2007 at 9:34 pm

    Red is a great game… but a little too simple.

    The guy who made it can be found here:

  3. cliftut said,

    on July 7th, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    This is pretty cool, but I see what you mean about it feeling incomplete. It seems to me that much more could be done with this concept. Also, I personally think it would be cool if those meteors created an impact flash when they miss you and hit the ground. For instance, after the giant one misses you, the screen shakes a lot and there’s a bright light.

    But that’s just my thoughts. Nice find!

  4. DPR said,

    on July 8th, 2007 at 2:16 am

    I have to agree with you completely there Matt, the game was excellent to start of with, boasting a great concept paired with brilliant visuals and audio. But it does lack that certain replayability.

    Still a kick-ass game though

  5. DPR said,

    on July 8th, 2007 at 2:17 am

    Orange is pretty crappy though :D

  6. frodo091 said,

    on July 8th, 2007 at 8:45 am

    The creator of the game made a new entry in the series, Orange. It also uses physics.

  7. Relys said,

    on July 9th, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    That was a really cool idea.

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