Review – Rocks N’ Rockets
Publisher: Creat Studios
Release Date: June 15th 2010 | June 9th 2010
Price: $4.99 | £3.99 | €4.99
Rating: Everyone | PEGI 3
What I liked:
- Introduces strategy to the genre
- 100 levels
- Pick up and play familiarity
What I disliked:
- Gameplay runs dry after a while
- That music you hear in the trailer? That’s the soundtrack
- City repair glitch
Rocks N’ Rockets is one of the latest Minis from PSN regulars TikGames and Creat Studios. The game is, at its very core, Missile Command. There are 8 cities lining the bottom of the screen. Your turret is centered between the cities. Meteors are pouring downward towards the cities at various angles. Your job is to protect the cities by shooting down the meteors. What does Rocks N’ Rockets do to break this Commanding mold? Quite a lot, actually.
When you begin Arcade Mode, you’ll be met with destroying ice meteors with fire rockets. The next level pits you against fiery meteors. Intuitively (or so I hope), you’ll switch to ice rockets to destroy the incoming flaming rocks. This is the basis of Rocks N’ Rockets. There are different rock types which require different rocket types to destroy them. The controls are simple: The analogue nub moves a cursor about the screen, the X button shoots of fire rockets, the O button shoots off ice rockets, and, if you’re in a jam, the ∆ button sets of a bomb that clears the screen. A nice touch to the controls is that either of the shoulder buttons, if held, will boost the cursor’s speed. You’ll need that in the later levels. There are ten different areas around a world map, each with ten levels to complete before moving on to the next one. New powerups and new rock types are introduced over time. Things like “laser pod” helper drones and fragmenting rocket powerups help to keep the gameplay fresh. The new rock types, too, help to maintain novelty throughout the game. Well, for most of it, anyway.
The meteors’ mingling makes for some quick-thinking, engaging gameplay. All of the different rock types begin showing up at once, littering the sky with a myriad of slow-moving threats that you alone must defend against. It’s basically the most strategic game in this genre to date. You’ll often find yourself conserving rockets and thinking twice before shooting them off. A problem I had in the later levels is that the drip-feeding of new content stops at around level 70. By that time you’ve seen all of the rock types and know how to deal with them. Also, it seemed like near the end of each level, when things started getting frantic, a lazer (that’s how it’s spelled in-game) beam powerup would crawl across the screen. The lazer beam doesn’t consume rockets, and it destroys every meteor, no matter what size or type it is. I think I discovered a glitch, too. If you quit to the title screen then load your game, you’ll start from the level you left off on, with the score you left off with, but all of your cities will be repaired. I did it by mistake but double-checked if it would occur again later on and it did. It sort of cuts down on the difficulty level, wouldn’t you say?
Besides for the Arcade Mode, there’s a Marathon Mode. In Marathon Mode, you play in a never ending level that slowly introduces the new rock types and powerups. A huge turn-off to the mode (for me, at least) is the fact that you have infinite rockets. This means that the rocket conservation part of the strategic mix is stripped away. It’s not nearly as fun when you know you can spam rockets and fix any misfires by further spamming a different type of rocket.
Rocks N’ Rockets is fun. The game gets busy enough to provide engaging and sometimes frenzied gameplay, but it never truly got difficult playing through normal mode. I started playing on hard mode but didn’t have the drive to stick it out past level 30 or so. If played in short intervals, the Arcade Mode will last for a while. However, once completed, you’ll likely think twice about playing it again. It’s a fun game and a good Minis title, but the game’s lack of replayability made me score it just shy of a 4/5.