You are drifting through an asteroid field, and your guns have apparently been rendered useless. Thankfully you have a working tractor beam that you can attach to the asteroids with. By flinging your vulnerable craft between asteroids you might be able to survive, and that spark of hope is what keeps you going. Space is a lonely place, and you don’t want it to be your last resting place.
Tractor Beam is a quick space survival game that takes the guns out of Asteroids. The pacifist approach to the game is really nice, and it reminds me of the feeling I get when I play iDodge: Space Ninja. The controls are supposed to be multitouch, and probably are but I am not quick enough to actually need multitouch. You simply touch an asteroid to get your tractor beam to drag your craft towards it. Building momentum is simply a matter of zig zagging between the asteroids. Of course you won’t survive in the end, and your limited number of lives will be exhausted in space. The controls work really well, but at times I find that the game sets me up for disaster by not placing asteroids where I need them.
The graphics is bare bone retro Asteroids style graphics in black with white lines. Not much eye candy unless you are a retro geek. I really like when retro graphics are polished with a hint of 2010, as seen in Vector Tanks and Squareball, and I find the Tractor Beam a bit bland and boring. A neat feature is that you can play it in either portrait or landscape mode, and I found it somewhat easier in landscape mode.
The music is interesting as it evolves depending on your progress. According to the App Store description it is created on the fly, and I find it really impressive. It is actually a reason to play the game in itself to hear the differences in the music produced. You can play your own music, and keep the sparse sound effects.
Tractor Beam is a dodge ‘em up survival game where you get scored by the distance you survive. There are three different levels of difficulty, and I actually had better luck with the harder modes as they give more asteroids to grab onto. It demands a lot of finger work to be successful, and those who like games such as iDodge: Space Ninja should really give it a go. I also see some similarities to Eliss as well with the quick decisions and movements needed.
Tractor Beam is a fun little game that is easy to recommend to those into hard as nails games demanding quick thinking, and decisive precision movements. To the casual gamer it will get old quickly, and as it doesn’t come with any online functionality or achievements there is little reason to play it if you find it too hard. If you hate iDodge: Space Ninja, Squareball and even Eliss stay clear of this. If on the other hand the aforementioned games are among your favourites definitely add Tractor Beam to your collection.
Tractor Beam $0.99
Seller: Maufacturing Content