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Asteroids Gunner Review (iPhone)

Asteroids dates back to 1979, before I was even born; before I was even a twinkle in my parents’ eyes. Thirty two years later Atari are still cashing in on this classic.

Asteroids Gunner takes you through the Alpha, Beta and Gamma quadrants with 50 waves in each quadrant. This structure makes for a game that could consume a lot of your time. Back in 2010 John McAllister set a record score of 41,338,740 after 58 hours of playing the Asteroids game. The previous record score had been held since 1982. That was your random Fact Of The Day folks! Whether such feats will be achieved in Asteroids Gunner I don’t know. I don’t have a spare 58 hours.

From the main title screen you can purchase skills that will apply to any ship you choose to take on your journey. Three Ships are available for your space cruising pleasure, however only 1 is given to you for free; the other 2 must be purchased with Space Bucks. There are a variety of power-ups you can purchase, mostly for crystals (which are collected during your wave attacks) and there are also Omega Tech upgrades, which cost a hefty amount of crystals or a mere 10 Space Bucks.

The only thing about Space Bucks that bothers me is that there is no way to gain these through game play, not even at a slow pace. You must dig into your own pocket for these. The Beta and Gamma quadrants and their waves are locked from the start but can be unlocked with Space Bucks.

Even if you just want a quick shot at the game it’s very quick just to jump in the basic ship and set off for the Alpha quadrant. The dual stick control is really nicely done and very simple to use. One stick to steer the ship, the other to steer the gunner – voila!

If you don’t know the aim of the game by now, which space crater have you been hiding in? Destroy the asteroids and the occasional enemy spacecraft to gain power ups and crystals. Some of the power ups are just awesome and cause such destruction you can’t help but smile at your power as you annihilate everything in your path causing even more power ups to float around.

At the end of each wave you are given the opportunity to visit the store to purchase some upgrades, power-ups or lives should you wish.

Throughout the game you can earn in-game achievements and boost your ranking from Trainee to Ensign and so on up to Admiral. You can see your current ranking and achievement progress in the Profile section from the Main Menu.

You can hear nice spacey background music that some might find a bit bland, but I found it quite atmospheric and in my opinion suited the game nicely. The background music is simple and that’s all it needs to be.

Speaking of background, the graphics are impressive too. We’ve come a loooong way since 1979!

All in all for a free app it’s great, just what you need from your Asteroids type game. The items purchasable only via Space Bucks can be a little frustrating if you don’t like IAP but the game is totally playable without going down that road.

Each wave round is quick enough that you can just pick up for a few minutes, or if you have more time to spare you can zip through numerous waves. This is what I look for most in iPhone and iPad apps and Asteroids Gunner delivers it.

If you check out the Atari twitter page they are currently doing a competition, which closes on Friday to win 10,000 Space Bucks. I’d say it’s well worth entering!

8 warp core engines out of 10

Published inReviews