Rocketeer is a physics game for the iOS platform. It’s simple on the surface: fire a rocket from a preset point with an accurate angle and velocity to reach the goal. The main catch here is that you have to navigate around planets and other obstacles by getting caught in their gravity and curving around them.
The idea is simple. Is it actually fun?
The controls for this game are very simple: simply touch anywhere on the screen and your rocket will fire toward that point. The farther away you touch, the faster the rocket goes. Seems intuitive, right?
There are few problems with this control scheme. Firstly, there is no “pinch to zoom” or similar camera movement. You are simply presented with the screen real estate available to you. This limits the angle/speed combinations you can use and really constrains the feel of the creativity of solving the puzzles. For example, if I think that I choose a great angle and want to go faster, I can only increase it by touching farther away from the launch pad. If that happens to be off of the screen, I am out of luck.
Additionally, firing without allowing for finer adjustments after touching is a bit frustrating. Peggle really solved some of these problems long ago; it keeps the intuitive touch-to-aim interface and gives you a “scroll wheel” to fine-tune your shot. I really feel like this game could use something similar; a pair of sliders to adjust angle and speed slightly after choosing a target would be great.
The puzzles are simple and get more complex as you progress. There are planets of various sizes (and gravities), planets that change size, asteroid belts, warp gates, and everything can move. All of the pieces are here for a great game, but I feel like there is a lot missing. For $0.99, I don’t expect too much, but after playing great games like Tap Tap Radiation on the iPad, it really feels like this game needs some polish. There is no ambient music during the game, no level creator, and no real incentive to keep unlocking puzzles. Achievements, a story, or unlockables would really be a driving force to keep playing this game. I put it down after a little while, but I could reasonably revisit it if I was hard-pressed for entertainment.
- Only 99 cents!
- Addicting for puzzle addicts and physics simulator fans
- Decent amount of levels
- Control scheme is a little bit weak
- Different versions for iPad and iPhone means you need to buy it separately for each platform.
- Little incentive to clear levels, no real features outside of the main puzzles.
Check it out on the App Store.
For those reading the review, Rocketeer has been chosen as the Free App A Day for today (September 28). You can grab the app for a whopping $0.99 off here and submit your own opinion in the comments section below!