Some days at work are not worth getting out of bed for. If the astronauts in Blast Off would have known that today was the day they would be ejected into space they would have put the clock on infinite snooze. Now they didn’t do that, and it is up to you to save their day from being the final day of their lives. Thankfully you have an agile rocket ship to rescue them.
Blast Off is a port of a Xbox Live Arcade game, and the joypad controls have been translated into touch controls. Your little rocket propels towards your finger, and you have almost the entire screen available for use. Only the top right corner with the pause button is off limits. The controls are brilliantly executed, and it takes some practice to become as good as the game lets you become. Gravity from asteroids and planets let you perform some cool zero G acrobatics with the small rocket ship. It is really rewarding just to get a close call slingshot move to work.
There are two game modes available: Endless mode and Classic mode. In Endless mode you have to collect air and fuel to continue picking up abandoned astronauts. It is a high score mode that increases the difficulty the longer you survive. Crash into an asteroid or run out of air/fuel and the game is over. The Endless mode lets you choose among three different levels with their individual high scores. The main game mode is the classic mode giving you 12 easy levels, 12 medium levels and 10 hard levels. For each level you have to collect a number of astronauts to open the exit before you run out of air or fuel. You get rewarded depending on your air/fuel consumption, and the number of astronauts you pick up. Pick up them all to get the brick award. Each level is also scored, and there is a developer score to beat as well. Just playing through the 42 levels took me about 30 minutes, and I would have liked more of them.
The graphics are good with a cute rocket ship in the middle of a nice rendition of space. There isn’t much happening on the screen, and the quite simple graphics is definitely enough to make it enjoyable. The music is nonintrusive electronica, but I would like to have support for my own music. Sound effects are sparse with the thruster as the main sound you will hear.
With Openfeint integration you get both achievements and global high scores for both the Endless and the Classic mode. I would have loved about 100 more levels in Classic mode as not even the hard posed much of a challenge. Sure if I were to aim for the brick awards for all the levels I would have a couple of hours of extra game life. Blast Off would also be a perfect game to get the players to create some cunning levels.
Blast Off is a perfect game for the iPhone with quick load times, brilliant touch controls and Openfeint integration. It gets my total recommendation even though more content would be appreciated.
Blast Off $0.99