Rocket Mission: Burning Out Our Fuse Up Here Alone

Price: Free

Rocket Mission: iPhone App Video Review

Rocket Mission for iPhone

Reviewed by Luke Patrick

There’s nothing we like more than a quality arcade shooter for the iPhone or iPad. There’s just something about blasting your way through countless high-stakes scenarios to reach an end goal that gets our high score rambling. Thankfully Rocket Mission, by developer Appasaurus Rex, is just such a title, and is amply more than enough to keep our interest. The app isn’t quite perfect (we’d sure appreciate some better graphics) but at the end of the day, we’re just happy to be blasting through space again. For our full thoughts on this retro-flavored shooter for the iPhone, check below beyond the break.

Concept and Gameplay

As mentioned, Rocket Mission bears a lot of resemblance to the arcade machines that ate so many of our quarters back in high school. In-app, players must direct via tilt controls a single spaceship as it travels toward a specified planet. Along the way, the pilot must dodge various obstacles, including asteroids, rocks, space junk, and—occasionally—Santa Claus. It’s heaps of fun, and the tilt controls worked like magic. We had no problem directing the ship, and the included power-ups certainly helped to keep the ball rolling. The rare green “S” or red “M” translates directly to a shield or missile power-up, both of which make the transition from base camp to planetary destination easier. And, of course, with only three lives at the player’s disposal, every last bump in the right direction helps!

Design and Graphics

Rocket Mission for iPhone

Rocket Mission for iPhone

As much as we appreciated the retro gameplay offered in Rocket Mission, though, we still can’t get over the app’s graphics. The menu felt particularly lacking, with only a bare amount of animation and little to no liveliness. The in-game action is far better, in terms of aesthetic quality, but we would still like to see some design improvements upon the sprites. We hate to knock an app for its graphics, but the look within Rocket Mission is neither retro, nor 8-bit: Only blocky. Thankfully, the gameplay itself is unencumbered, offering all of the arcade-blasting action you’d expect from a title of the genre, even if the eye-candy is sadly lacking.

On a positive note, we did very much appreciate the organization of the levels. Rather than simply having a player shoot baddies ad infinitum, Rocket Mission instead asks them to advance toward a new planet in the solar system. This creates a goal for the mission, and adds even more incentive to return and “just get one more planet done.”

Overall Value

At the end of the day, Rocket Mission is still a fantastic arcade game, even with our graphical niggles. If you’re a fan of the space-blasting genre you won’t be disappointed with what Rocket Mission has to offer, and we feel it likely that future updates will bring a much-needed facelift to the graphics. In the meantime, the controls are ace, and the gameplay is solid.

Rocket MissionRocket Mission requires iOS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.

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