Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad (third-gen)
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
Space Survivors is a puzzle game where the player controls the movement of spaceman by pushing them with their fingers. While Space Survivors is set up as well as any other good puzzle game, parts of the game are much too hard and others are too easy.
The element of the game that is overly hard is the holes. There are holes in the levels that, if the player gets sucked into them, the spaceman will fly out into open space and the level will be lost. In the settings, easy mode and hard mode are distinguished only by the strength of the holes and fans.
But the problem is that the holes pull way too hard even in easy mode. In hard mode, it’s unnecessarily hard to navigate around the holes. The fans aren’t too bad in easy mode, but it hard mode they’re also way too strong. And even worse, the game suggests “covering” the holes with the player's finger in order to keep the spaceman from getting caught. That simply doesn’t work. The hole continues to pull and the spaceman will go right through the player's finger into the hole.
The strength of these overly hard obstacles wouldn’t be as much of a problem if it wasn’t so hard to control the spaceman. It’s simply too easy for a spaceman to roll to either side of the player’s finger when they’re being pushed. Once they roll away, a hole or fan inevitably ends the level.
The overly easy part of the game is that, in some levels, all of the holes and fans can simply be bypassed by going straight to the exit. By doing this, the spaceman often doesn’t collect any of the stars (three per level, like Angry Birds). Going from start to finish in a puzzle is the real objective of a puzzle game, and that should never be easy. Collecting extra things like stars should be even more difficult than finishing a level, but not as difficult as the game makes it with the holes.
Other obstacles include aliens and spikes. Aliens are small, green organisms that move about levels randomly. If a spaceman touches an alien, the level ends. Spikes are quite self-explanatory, touch them and the level ends (the spaceman actually pops like a balloon, which I found disturbingly amusing).
The game contains 20 levels that can be played in either easy or hard mode. When I started playing the game, it was selling for $0.99. For $0.99, 20 levels would have been too little. Just a few days ago the game dropped to a free price with no indication of a sale. It seems the game is free for now. As a free game, it is worth the time. To be worth money again, this game needs its controls ironed out and more levels added.