October 3, 2010

Described as an extreme physics puzzler, Rocketeer is a brand new game from Wired Developments. In it, you are tasked with safely navigating your rocket, and dangling Rocketeer, through the harsh depths of outer space. Standing in your way are obstacles including planets of varying size and type, proximity mines, asteroid fields, and laser gates.

Each level of Rocketeer has a rocket launching station and a blue vortex. Your goal is to navigate the rocket into the blue vortex to unlock the next level. You do this by touching a spot on the screen. The spot you touch determines the direction and speed of the rocket. The further away from the launching station, the faster the rocket goes. When you touch the screen a crosshairs appears that lets you know the exact spot your rocket is heading towards. The crosshairs stays visible afterwards so you can make slight adjustments to your trajectory on the next turn. Each level has one expected solution, although in some cases alternate solutions may be possible.

The game is progressive in that over the course of the 80 levels you’ll be introduced to more complex scenarios as well as more difficult enemies.  Each enemy has a different set of properties that impact your rocket. Small planets have a very low gravitational pull resulting in only slight bending of your rockets path depending on speed. Larger planets have very high gravitational pull resulting in very drastic and sometimes unexpected trajectory changes. Additional obstacles such as laser gates, portals, and even reverse gravity planets make each new level a brand new challenge. Littered throughout the game are a few Launch Detector Pickups which allow you to show a hint for levels that you just can’t figure up. These hints can be used on future levels so don’t waste them on a level that you’ve got figured out.

As you play each level, the number of rockets that it takes you to reach the vortex is counted. Reach the vortex with the first rocket and you are awarded 3 stars. The more rockets you need, the lower the number of stars you will receive for that level. Once you’ve beat a level you can go directly to it from the level select menu so gamers who want to work towards mastery of each level have that option.

Rocketeer is definitely an extreme physics puzzler, but don’t let that scare you off as it really is a blast to play. 80 levels seemed like a lot at first, but once you get the hang of the game it goes by very quickly. I’d love to see future updates of the game adding new levels and possibly new game objects to keep the experience fresh and new. The only thing that bugged me about Rocketeer was the level select screen. You couldn’t flick it with your finger and have it keep scrolling, but instead had to scroll all the way to the bottom to reach later levels. Aside from that, if you are looking for a new title to checkout on your iPhone or iPad make sure to check out Rocketeer. There is a Lite version, so you can always try it out before you buy it.

Score: 4/5

Questions? Check out our review guide.