Us here at CultureMilk are pretty darn obsessed with good design, right? Well, I’m sure most of you reading this here are too, and are constantly searching for the best designed things for your home, office, and of course, your beloved iOS devices. As many of us know, the amount of iOS applications that have some really awesome design are scarce— especially in the games department. Sigh no more because IconFactory has rescued us from this trouble with their newest release of Astronut for iPad.
The brother to its original iPhone-only game, Astronut for iPad brings all of that amazing astronaut-themed gameplay over to that stellar 9.7” screen. Plus, this app was designed by some of my favorite designers like Louie Mantia, who did work for Apple and Square, and David Lanham, who did work for the wonderful apps Clear and Fantastical. You can even check out some of the drafts of the game if you wish here.
So onto the guts— what is the gameplay like? To start off, controls are rather simple: tap the right side to jump and the left to send a speed boost for a limited amount of time. All you have to do is time out your jumps. The campaign is quite long, even though it might not appear to be so. Levels are quite long and difficult. As you progress through the game, it will become even more difficult with the addition of obstacles like black holes and aliens. Fortunately, you do get a little help with the extra health, force fields, and “Star Shards” which award you with bonus levels after you collect four of them. Perhaps one of the coolest features is that you can actually control the game with your iPhone, granted you do have its iPhone counterpart.
Graphic-wise, Astronut is one of the sharpest games I have ever seen. The whole game looks crisp on my inferior iPad 2 screen, and I can’t even imagine how breathtaking it would be on the new Retina display. The space theme is thoroughly implemented throughout the game— probably better than any other themed game I have ever played before. It almost is as if you are in a space station and gives you this awesome futuristic feel. Every element in this game is drawn in high detail; textures, patterns, and colors all pop. In essence, this game is one of the most beautifully done applications I have ever seen.
Costing just $1.99, Astronut is a bargain for what you get. Gameplay is addictive and the graphics are among the best I have ever seen grace that famous glass screen. At the end, Astronut is definitely a game that I can recommend to anyone who loves an arcade-style game or anyone who appreciates great design in general.