Developer: Revolutionary Concepts
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

In the classic action/time management game Harbor Master, players manage boat traffic coming in and out of a busy harbor. Failure means a collision, which means (off-screen) death for the poor suckers working on the doomed boat(s). Even so, death by explosion and/or drowning is probably preferable to the awful end suffered by the astronauts populating the ships and landers in Moon Control, a space-themed action/time management game from Revolutionary Concepts.

mooncontrol_05Picture it: rockets and capsules screw up their landings and make violent contact with the crater-pocked planet below. The pilots within die of asphyxiation, violent decompression, freezing, burning, whatever. Space has unimaginable torments, and it’s up to the player of Moon Control to keep them from happening to the ladies and gentlemen inside the rocket ships that are constantly descending onto the alien surface. Good luck.

Indeed, Moon Control is conceptually similar to Firemint’s famous Flight Control and Imangi Studios’ Harbor Master. Though the action in Moon Control gets frantic much more quickly than in the aforementioned games.

Players direct the landing of various space craft by spinning a planetoid so that the descending vehicles land safely on color-coded launch pads. It’s not so bad when one vehicle at a time comes in for a landing, but before long multiple spacecraft start crowding the stratosphere (wow – space travel has really taken off in this reality. Go, Team Human!). Naturally, if a vehicle doesn’t land on the launch pad, it goes splat.

Players can tap an incoming spacecraft and fire its boosters, which delays landing for a few seconds. Sometimes it’s more than enough time to land surrounding vehicles. Other times – well, let’s just say racking up any kind of a high score in Moon Control takes a whole lot of coordination and speed. It’s also necessary to get a feel for the game’s physics. Once it’s set in motion, momentum keeps the planetoid spinning, making it even more difficult to achieve safe landings.

mooncontrol_01That’s what makes it fun, though. The player’s first few attempts are guaranteed to yield miserable results, but there’s still a compulsion to play again and again and watch that high score climb. Moon Control isn’t a complicated game, but it’s an addictive one. The thudding chiptune soundtrack helps keep players in a rescuing mood, too.

Moon Control isn’t a deep game, but it’s a worthy time-waster. Give it a go, and try not to let too many cosmonauts kiss the ground at terminal velocity.

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