The Last Rocket App Review

This new application from indie developer, Shaun Inman has literally been my guilty pleasure for the better of the past few days. Day in and day out, I’ve been playing non-stop. Why? Puzzle, platforming and retro elements come together flawlessly in The Last Rocket.

The Last Rocket isn’t your traditional “run and jump” platformer but instead a platformer that has you navigating through a total of 64, one-room levels. The gameplay will follow a storyline in that a space ship is propelling towards a star or some of the sort and has lost its gears. Your job is to get through all of the many obstacles in each level while also attempting to collect all of the gears in each level. A better description of the game would most likely be a puzzle platformer-esque game. A bit difficult to explain the gameplay, so check out this video to see exactly how the game plays:

A unique control scheme has been dreampt up for the game, which actually works surprisingly well. Rather than a d-pad to control movement, you’ll tap the screen to blast off of a wall, can swipe your finger left or right to walk when stuck to a wall and perform other gestures to make “the last rocket” move in different ways. It all comes together perfectly and takes only but a few minutes to get the hang of:

There wouldn’t be much of a replay value for the game by itself, considering completing every single one of the levels only takes a few hours, but the developer has also coded in a few secret passageways in many levels where there are hidden gears. Since the game allows you to advance through levels without it being mandatory to have collected all of the gears, you may want to play through the game’s levels multiple times to attempt and grab more gears each time.

Personally, I think the game would be a whole lot more enjoyable if there was a level select screen. Currently, the developer has clearly worked around providing such a thing, but if you miss a gear in a level and move on accidentally, there’s nothing you can do but go back. Thankfully, though, he has provided a way of seeing how many gears you have collected once you complete the game via an HUD that will appear accordingly. At-least give us the aforementioned level select and indication after the levels are played through once.

The artwork is absolutely fantastic. If you fancy retro artwork, look no further as the Last Rocket features the best of the best of pixel artwork. Additionally, contributing to the retro theme and feel of the game are the multiple chiptunes that come included with the game.

Don’t ask me why I pressed the Restart button, but I did, and I learned the hard way that there’s no popup dialog message that asks me to confirm the restart. Just a note to the developer: would really help if you could add something like that.

Though it’s relatively short, the inclusion of secret passages, a great story that guides you and always corresponds to the gameplay and some wonderful retro visuals equate to an overall worthy experience. It’s a bit steep at $2.99, but the amount of time and character it took to develop the game is evident throughout making it an easy purchase to make. I especially was mesmorized by the fact that the game is meant to be a puzzle platformer, but didn’t have too many difficult puzzles; it’s the perfect solutions for gamers seeking an awesome platformer without puzzles that are too hard.

I don’t usually do this, but to highlight why exactly you should buy the game, I will this one time:
Gameplay: 5
Music: 5
Artwork: 5
UI: 3
Replayability: 5
Controls: 5
Content: 5