148Apps Network Post
Developer: Skapp Enterprises
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.0.2
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
User Interface Rating: ★★½☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★½

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Blowing up asteroids has been a mainstay in gaming ever since… well… Asteroids, really. The concept has been remade, re-imagined and redux-ed quite a bit since ’79. Now it’s Skapp Enterprises’ turn to show us their own rendition.

Asteroids 2012 takes the classic idea of inertia and the destruction of innocent space-faring minerals and puts it in a 3D environment. Players can take one of four ships out for a spin and start a-blastin’. Wanton destruction of asteroids nets cash, which can in turn be saved up and spent on new rides and gear. It’s not all wave-survival though. There are two more modes to mess around with (Treasure Hunt and Test Drive), both yielding some much needed green as well as variety.

As with all cash-driven, wave-survival iOS games, Asteroids 2012 always has something to offer. New waves are unlocked by successfully completing others. New ships and weaponry can be purchased to increase asteroid-smashing potential. It’s something right out of the “App Store Successes” playbook.

Thing is, it’s hard to be excited about a nifty space shooter/remake of a classic arcade game when the controls are this screwed up. Okay, they aren’t so much screwed up as they’re ridiculously sensitive. Moving my thumb a fraction of a fraction of an inch will send the targeting reticule all over the place. Without a way to adjust it, aiming is incredibly problematic. Which wouldn’t be quite so bad in itself except for the fact that the camera doesn’t stay behind the ship. Turning in any direction doesn’t actually change the viewpoint until the ship has moved beyond a certain degree. This makes aiming much more difficult than it has to be. The accelerometer controls aren’t any better.

It’s a shame, really. If it weren’t for the camera/controls combination, Asteroids 2012 would be a pretty fun game. With less-twitchy controls and a more user-friendly camera, it would be an easy recommendation for arcade lovers. But even after (yes, after) an update, it still suffers from the same problems. Still, there’s potential here.


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