Developer: Hassey Enterprises, Inc.
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Fun Rating: ★★★☆☆
Lasting Appeal Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

Cosmic Nitro, from the makers of the frantic strategy game Galcon, is a relatively standard foray into the classic missile command genre. The game puts you in command of the defense of the Earth, saving it from UFO’s bombs, asteroids, comets, toxic waste, and weird yellow nebula things. The game is pretty straight forward… things fall on the screen and you shoot them.

img_01301Graphics
The graphics of Cosmic Nitro are fairly well crafted, and maybe a bit stylishly utilitarian. Not once in the game did I really think about the graphics, which usually mean that they didn’t wow me, but they also didn’t drive me away. The sound on the other hand is an awesomely annoying right off the bat. Instantly I thought of Mega Man 2, which, depending on how much you enjoy NES quality tracks, may be a good thing but also may be bad. The sound is pretty repetitive and some of the high notes are a bit too high for the internal speakers, causing some sound cracking, but overall it works for the game.

Gameplay
The game, in a nutshell, it a missile defense game that pits you vs. the oncoming attackers. Unlike many missile command type games though, Cosmic Nitro gives you the ability to tap directly on the oncoming object to destroy it instantly. There is no mention or need for ammo, because there is so much crap on the screen that ammo would kill the pace. This system creates some interesting situations with your fingers that you would normally associate with Tap Tap Revolution. The sheer amount of objects on the screen at some points force you to contort your hand(s) and move them at speeds that you previously wouldn’t think were possible. When the action just becomes too ridiculous, you can use one of your three “shields” which blow up everything on the screen… a very handy ability in the later levels. Speaking of levels, in an attempt to counteract the boredom that happens in most games in the genre, Cosmic Nitro is split into 9 levels, all of which showcase a different enemy and different computer strategy (a-la Megaman). The variety of enemy units in the game is small, but they balance out quite well during the gameplay.

img_01291Enemy Units
Comet: The standard object flying towards you is relatively small and streaks in diagonal patterns. The comets movement patterns are not limited to the screen though as they tend to go off of one side and then re-appear on the other. This is the second easiest unit to kill in Cosmic Nitro

Asteroid: This is the second thing that you see in a normal game. The asteroids range from medium to quite large and they fall straight down. Kill them fast just to get them out of the way. I may be wrong in this, but the asteroids tend to do more damage than any other unit. Just because of their size and relative speed, this is the easiest unit to kill in Cosmic Nitro.

UFO: These units move slowly in straight lines across the screen. Usually it is quite easy to kill a UFO, but then they start dropping their bombs. Some of the later levels in this game have so many UFO’s on-screen dropping bombs (which are also attackable units) that shield use is inevitable.

Toxic Waste: The most annoying unit in the game because you have to kill it twice. Glowing green barrels fall from the screen, and when you shoot them, they split into two green blobs. The level that features the toxic waste, as you could probably guess, is extremely annoying.

Yellow Nebula Thingies: These nebula thingies come at you really fast and then stop and grow. After a while I believe they split and fall at you, but I have just never run into this problem. Think of these things as more of an annoyance.

Fun/ Lasting Appeal
The problem with Cosmic Nitro is that it is extremely short. Playing through all 9 levels took me about 30 min, with me dying all of one time. The insanity of the game is really fun, but again, it’s extremely easy and far too short. Fortunately, there is a game mode called Apocalypse that lets you go for as long as you want, but it gets old after a while. The meat of the game is the fact that there are levels that actually end, and once the levels are over, the game gets old… really quickly.

Overall
For $0.99 this game is a fairly good deal, although there are better games at the same price point on the app store. The pace of the game will keep many people entertained for a while, but the average gamer will only get in about an hour of game time. If you are extremely persistent and want to play Apocalypse mode over and over, the game could last considerably longer. For the price of a single cheeseburger at McDonald’s, I can’t really complain, but again, there are many better options in the App Store.

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