Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
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Sometimes, after gorging on triple-A titles that let us drink in every blade of grass, every pebbled patch of a dragon's skin, it's good to return the basics - the games that technically started 'em all.
Asteroids is an example of an arcade/home console pioneer, and even though Fetus Design's Space Maniac isn't Asteroids straight-up, it should be enough to satisfy anyone in the mood for some floating-and-gunning. Even retro enthusiasts might be put off by the skimpy level selection, however.
In Space Maniac, it's just the player, a lot of asteroids, occasional visits from hostile alien life, and an awesome soundtrack. The vastness of space is reduced to a single screen, which the player darts around by tapping where they want to go. Holding down on the screen unleashes a volley of bullets, which can spread in all directions as well as fly into one side of the screen and exit out the other. When the action gets especially heated, the player's bullets swoop in from every angle - it's quite a spectacle.
Thankfully there's no friendly fire; there's enough to manage with all the asteroids flying around like they own the joint. The asteroids in Space Maniac are tough specimens, as one shot usually just sends them off in the opposite direction. It takes two or more bullets to split the rock, after which their pieces go careening (and may well come back to knock the ship silly).
There are three levels in Space Maniac, along with an endless mode. The levels are progressively harder, with more asteroids on-screen and aggressive aliens that shoot projectiles. The game's difficulty, plus the bragging rights that come with success, should delight fans of old-fashioned space shooters, though it's easy to get tired of the three levels on tap.
Space Maniac isn't particularly deep, but it's worth a play if only to whisk patrons of the old school back in time with the aid of its neon graphics, clean controls, and compelling chiptune soundtrack.