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Astro Dodge Review (iPhone)

Game Review: Astro Dodge
Release: July 15, 2010
Genre: Space Flight
Developer: Assyria Game Studio
Available Platforms: iPhone/iPod Touch
Players: 1
MSRP: $1.99
ESRB Rating: 4+
Website: http://www.assyria-game.com/AstroDodge.html

Astro Dodge is what Asteroids would be if you took away the weapons and added more maneuverability. The Earth is in need of nano-plasma, and it’s up to you to gather it out of an asteroid field without being smashed by giant rocks or forced out of control by cosmic anomalies. Your ship has a force field and quick speed on its side.

Controlling your ship is as easy as swiping your finger across the touch screen. Using two fingers gives you a speed boost. This helps when you’re in a tight spot and need to move fast. The goal is to collect as much nano-plasma floating around, which takes the shape as small orbs. Flying over it automatically picks it up. Your shield can take a few hits before it’s gone. One hit without your shield destroys your ship and ends the game. Pick-ups are available that add to your shield or give you a tractor beam.

As you can see in the screen shots, the graphics are very good. The asteroids and planets are rendered very well. I was impressed by the lighting from the sun and the light rings it produces. Gameplay wise your ship is very responsive, making dodging asteroids as simple as flicking your finger. Using your tractor beam lets you grab more nano-plasma if you’re in a tight spot. Cosmic storms and black holes can toss you around or suck you in, so being fleet of finger is a must.

Not having any offensive weapons is a little disappointing. When I started playing this game I was looking for the shoot button and it doesn’t exist. Of course, the name of the game is Astro Dodge, so the point is avoiding asteroids and not destroying them. I think it would be nice to at least have a limited ability to shoot something for those times when you’re in the middle of a tight spot with no way out. Another addition I would like to see in an update is online leaderboards.

Astro Dodge is a fun, twitchy Asteroids-type game. Playing to beat your high score gives great motivation, although the addition of a online leaderboard might push you even harder. Graphically, the game impresses and the controls are tight and very responsive. For $1.99 this is an easy recommendation for anyone that wants a quick, fun action game.

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