Developer: Yury Ramanchuk
Price: Free
Version: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Space Discovery attempts to combine a space shooter game with an educational facts about the solar system. Players are given a ship to explore the universe and complete missions in order to reveal interesting information about the planets. The ship is armed so players can shoot their way through asteroids to get to their assigned destinations. However, with clunky controls and repetitive gameplay, this is much more of an educational app rather than a fun space shooter.

There are over 500 facts to uncover while playing this game. These facts are nothing unique to this app, and can easily be found on the internet using search engines. However, there is a valiant attempt here to make learning fun. So, to uncover these facts players must complete missions by using their spaceship. These missions are simple tasks such as traveling to a predefined destination in space. Once a set of ten missions are completed, facts become unlocked. These facts are stored and may be viewed later on in a separate area of the app.

Controlling the spaceship can be a bit of a challenge at times. The left thumbstick moves the ship in any direction. However, if you simply tap your thumb off center, the ship quickly jerks in that direction instead of yielding a smooth response. The throttle is controlled by tapping one of five presets, which can also prove to be difficult to accurately control. There is also a fire button to shoot asteroids with. This also becomes frustrating, as the player must wait for the gun to recharge before firing again.

While the graphics and music are well done, the sound effects leave much to be desired. There are gunfire sounds, but nothing more. There are no engine thrust sounds or crashing effects while colliding with an asteroid. The lack of sound effects does not allow the player to become fully immersed in the game. This reinforces the fact that this is much more of an educational app than a true game.

I can absolutely see this app used as an educational supplement in a science class. Students would be assigned to gather a specific number of facts about each planet. In order to do so, they’ll have a bit of fun by playing the game and completing the missions. Additionally, this app would be great for any science or space enthusiasts that just want to learn more. Either way, it wouldn’t hurt to try it out for free.

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