Astronut for the iPhone is one of those cool little time-wasters that’s perfectly designed for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The gameplay is simple, you are an astronaut that jumps through space from planet to planet, moon to moon.
Each of the celestial bodies has its own gravitational pull, so you get sucked in when flying through the levels. That’s okay, because you can stand on the various objects you land on. Planets and moons are safe to stand on, while black holes are only safe for a short period of time, for instance, if you stand on one for more than a few seconds, you get pulled through the black hole. Avoid aliens and collect star shards in each level, and pick up hearts to recover lost lost. While we’re not totally comparing it to Super Mario Galaxy, the gravity element does remind of of that title.
There are also spaceship levels between jumping levels. They are by far the weaker element of the game. You collect star shards. You must tilt the device to steer the ship. In the levels we played there was no way to lose in these segments, but they just weren’t nearly as much fun as the jumping portions. We think the tilt controls have everything to do with that.
The download we tried was free, but only contains the first few levels of the game. You can purchase the full game once you complete the demo for $1.99.
The game is very easy to learn, you jump from place to place, carefully judging your trajectory. You can use your rocket pack in order to help guide the astronaut towards an area you are trying to land on. Levels are short and take about a minute or two to complete. Making it easy to pick up and play as well as put down very quickly.
We aren’t feeling the spaceship levels. We think that the downfall here is the control method, which requires tilting of the iDevice to steer.
We enjoyed the free demo. Though the game doesn’t offer anything totally revolutionary, it’s a fun idea. Though somewhat casual, the game is more skill-based than some of the other stuff on the App market, which is based more on puzzles and require more thought. It’s something you can do after work when the brain has been on overdrive for eight hours. Either way, those looking for free iPhone games may want to check out this demo. It’s short, but just enough to entertain you for a half hour.
Four out of Five – Great, but some controls can get annoying.