Enjoy a virtual trip to the moon with these iPhone games

Feb 9, 2012
Games

A few months ago when former presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich guaranteed to colonize the moon by 2020 if he were elected president, there was the usual snickering and jokes you might expect from places like The Daily Show. But even if Newt’s moon town never sees the light of day, there’s plenty of apportunities for […]

A few months ago when former presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich guaranteed to colonize the moon by 2020 if he were elected president, there was the usual snickering and jokes you might expect from places like The Daily Show. But even if Newt’s moon town never sees the light of day, there’s plenty of apportunities for lunar dreamers to enjoy space.

I’m not talking about apps that let you see the stars, but rather games that let you live out your coolest space fantasies. Alien Space Retro ($0.99) puts you in the middle of the abyss as you blast away at asteroids and space creatures out to destroy your ships. The game features 30 levels and is designed in the same style as Geometry Wars, with simple designs buoyed by firepower that resembles a laser light show.

If you prefer your space travel a little more cerebral, there’s the puzzle-oriented Space Leap ($0.99). In Space Leap, the player must contend with exploding suns, slingshot physics and other space trouble as they attempt to collect glowing particles by jumping from star to star. The gameplay relies on strategic planning by the player as they attempt to maneuver the stars in the right order to collect the necessary particles and advance through each one of the game’s 63 levels.

New Orbit ($1.99) on the other hand, is a game that blends the difficult gravity of space with an interesting narrative. Players learn to use the various gravitational pulls of planets in the game to complete assorted missions like picking up debris scattered across the game world. The story follows an engineer in a space collective as he struggles to find out the origins of a mission for which he was never properly prepared. The story is helped along with recorded voice-overs from multiple characters.

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For something much lighter in tone, there’s Cows in Space ($0.99). This game asks you to help get some cows home as they float trapped in bubbles across space. Players shoot a “jelly beam” at the cows that helps teleport them back to Earth, so long as they’re not accidentally knocked into toxic floating items. The game is broken up into 60 levels configured around the three-star scoring system seen in so many action-puzzle games. It’s a lighthearted adventure that is suitable for anyone looking to have a quick laugh as they enjoy a game.

But light-hearted isn’t for everyone, which is why there are games like F-SIM Space Shuttle ($3.99). Anyone who was a fan of the Microsoft flight simulators will find plenty to enjoy here. F-SIM focuses specifically on the space shuttle’s approach and landing as players get one chance to have a smooth and safe descent. Post-landing, players are given a detailed landing analysis and are awarded a score based upon their performance.

These apps might not replace the thrill that living on a moon base would seemingly provide, but at least you won’t have to wear a cumbersome spacesuit while you play them.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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