Sunday, September 9, 2012

Review Rewind: Tapsteroids

Base/Missile Defense games are sort of a little addiction of mine. There's a couple that will never leave my device. Eve of Impact, Battle Group and the UNAgame's Tapsteroids. Since the release of Tapsteroids back in September of 2011, the game has not received one update. Now, I don't think I've ever said this, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. UNAgames made sure that all of the bugs were worked out pre-release, and that there was adequate content to keep score-chasers busy for quite some time. Granted, it could go for some more weapons, but it doesn't NEED them to be one of the best Asteroid Defense games in the AppStore. If you're a fan of the genre, Tapsteroids is definitely one title that you should have on your device.

Tapsteroids is the first iOS game from UNAgames, a two person team based in Italy. Daniele, who worked for 7 years on high-budget games for the Amiga, PC, and first-generation consoles, and Erika, a mathematician who works on 2D and 3D graphics. After playing Tapsteroids, hearing this information doesn’t necessarily come as a surprise. The action filled tap/arcade game has that ‘one more play’ feel to it, and it is made extremely well, with loads of polish, and tons of challenge. 

In Tapsteroids, it’s your job to keep navigation routs safe to travel by wiping out waves of asteroids that are hurtling through space. To do this, you’ll be given an unlimited number of missiles, and are able to pick up extra weapons as you progress through the levels. To get rid of the asteroids, all you need to do is tap on them, and which-ever weapon you have equipped will automatically fire at it. The extra weapons are picked up by tapping on them, and selected by tapping on the space station, pausing the game, and then tapping on the weapon you’d like to use.

To get through each level, you’ll need to make sure that a certain number of ships are able to dock on your space station safely. You’re given 5 shields, or hit points, and each time your station or a ship gets hit by an asteroid, you loose one of those shields. Scattered in with the weapon pick-ups, you’ll see shield pick-ups as well, which add on one hit point.

The graphics in Tapsteroids are done extremely well, and the space environments look really nice. The animations for the asteroids, space ships, weapons, and different space stations are done very well also. There’s tons of polish and professionalism throughout the graphics and animations, and really helps add to the atmosphere and feel of the game. There plenty of variation between the space stations, space ships, and with the asteroids. Small asteroids, medium asteroids, and larger asteroids will fill up the screen in the later levels, some of them breaking up into multiple smaller asteroids, going in every direction. There is music in-between levels, and on the menus, but while playing, you’ll only hear the effects of weapons firing, ships landing, and asteroids and space ships exploding. The menu music is really nice, and full of energy, and the lack of music in-game actually helps build some atmosphere in my opinion. Space is a lonely, quiet place; only having the effects sounds while playing was a great idea.

There are three difficulties in Tapsteroids, but when you’re playing, the difficulty automatically goes up as you progress through the game. Easy difficulty is levels 1 through 4, Medium is 5 through 9 and Hard is 10 and up. Selecting Medium or Hard difficulty at the beginning of a game will automatically start you at level 5 or 10. This might turn some people off, but if you’re into older games, and love the difficulty levels of old-school NES/SNES and SEGA games, you’ll probably feel right at home with Tapsteroids. 

Only having one mode is something else that might turn people off. An endless or survival mode would be awesome to have, but as it is now, Tapsteroids is a very entertaining game, with tons of replay value. The GameCenter leaderboards and 21 achievements help add to that too. It’s a very professional game with loads of polish, and tons of potential for the future. If the developers keep adding to the game, this could easily turn into one of my favorite arcade tapers for the iOS. $0.99 is a great price for endless gameplay, and tons of action. Get it now, and start climbing up those leaderboards!!

**Note: Tapsteroids is still just $0.99 in the AppStore.


Sure do love that "review rewind"!
Another lost gem, thanks!

I have no idea how this got into your review rewind. I grabbed this when it was free a month or so ago, and deleted it after 5 minutes. These review rewind posts along with your "news" posts cluttering up the site is really bringing the page down. I wish Dave Forester never gave up the site.

Hmm, pretty sure that void was doing most of the work anyway, so I don't see how Dave running the show would have changed anything?

Keep it up synthetic, you're doing a great job!

Well... Yes. It is a shame that Dave couldn't keep up with the site, he was the only owner of a review site that actually gave me a chance. I'm sorry that we haven't been able to keep you interested. If there's something you'd like to see more of on the site, just let me know, and I'll do my best! =o)

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