Many arcade classics have been reincarnated as iOS apps, and I must say that Asteroid 2012 is one the more successful ones. While it does not do everything right, it’s certainly a fun game for anyone looking for some plain old fun in blowing stuff up.
It is immediately noticeable that this is an arcade shooter, with the only alternative mode being ‘Retro 1979,’ which is a throwback to the inferior graphics of the 1970’s. As a player, you steer a spaceship using the accelerometer, gathering the occasional power-up and bonus on the way. Shooting, pausing, and other actions are handled with onscreen controls. A great thing about the accelerometer – which many apps don’t have – is the ability to re-calibrate from the pause menu without needing to reset your game, something which usually annoys me in accelerometer based games. The tilting responsiveness is one of the best I’ve seen in a game like this, not too extreme yet still substantial.
This game is very easy to get sucked into. It does not have a strict hierarchy of levels and modes the way many games do – indeed, the progression of difficulty is identical in retro and normal – and yet, it still keeps you playing round after round. This simplicity is reflected in the build in OpenFeint scoreboard, purely measured in overall points.
The graphics are good, although not much can be said about them. It is crisp on a 4th Gen. iPod Touch, but the dark colors make it less than visually pleasing. The 1970’s mode does make spotting ships easier, which many (including myself) appreciate. The radar in the bottom right corner may help, but it is incredibly confusing to use.
In the end, this is not a complex game, or a revolutionary game. This is a game where you can blow stuff up on your iPhone. If you liked the old version, there’s no way not like this game.
Reviewed Device: iPod Touch 4G
[review pros=”Simplistic, $.99, retro mode, solid graphics, and sound effects” cons=”Poor UI and radar” score=80]