Developer: Pixel Punch
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS

Graphics/Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

The ship automatically shoots. This small detail makes many otherwise tricky elements of Lunar Eclipse go off rather swimmingly. Which is to say, Asteroids is still being played, though there are enough small additions that might intrigue someone.

Easing the player in with five introductory missions, Lunar Eclipse proceeds to launch into what it calls its Lunar Eclipse mode: the endless wave after wave of asteroids, enemy ships, and bosses. What the player controls is direction the ship is shooting/facing, moving, a rapid-shot option, and firing the rockets. These are all handled with buttons or the on-screen joystick on the lower half of the screen, and are fairly easy to both understand and execute. The rapid shooting, in particular, offers a bit of clemency against the enemy ships, though it needs be strategically used, as it overheats and requires a cool down period. The top half of the screen is filled with information such as time spent, the ship’s armor, and the shooting speed.

Which is all fine and dandy, with power-ups to extend and create a bit of a goal in addition to the leaderboard offered by both points and time spent alive. Unfortunately, none of it is explained incredibly well in the tutorial missions. Further, the tutorial missions seemed like a fun formula that could have been extended into an actual narrative, or more challenges than just the leaderboard, but sadly, they only number five, and replaying them offers not much new. For those with leaderboard obsessions, this is a bit more enticing, perhaps.

Which is to say, this is a fine use of time while waiting or needing a quick burst of entertainment. It functions, it’s pretty enough, but it seems to lack that extra oomph to push it into something that is more engaging. There are certainly ways to innovate on retro gaming’s classics, but this one felt a bit too close to the original with some additions that it didn’t really function quite as well into drawing me into wanting to play it.


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