Rocket Claw grabs our attention on the iPhone
Simple games often work the best on iPhone, and games developer Fugazo is proving that with its newly released iOS game Rocket Claw. Using older core game concepts within newly stylized fashions, it is a game puts users in control of a futuristic robot who must save endangered space travelers. While doing so, the game merely asks players to survive for as long as possible, hooking them with quirky visuals and simple play, but keeping them with one of the oldest of game hooks: the high score.
Rocket Claw is centered around a spheroid robot named C.L.A.W.D., or the Clamping Long-Arm Winch Device. Also… the claw it uses has rockets on it. C.L.A.W.D. moves through the depths of space attempting to rescue as many astronauts as possible while deflecting all the incoming hazards that deep space has to offer. They idea is to play for as long as possible without being hit by debris.
C.L.A.W.D. sits in the middle of the screen and never moves. However, space is alive and well and various objects will drift into view. In order to rescue astronauts — which include spacemen, spacewomen, and space dogs — players merely need to tap the location they would like to fire their claw at, and should it touch them, it will retract the space walkers back into the safety of whatever internal void C.L.A.W.D. possesses.
Timing is everything, as it is possible to miss targets, and users have to wait for the claw to retract. At the same time, it is possible to grab more than one person. Essentially, anything the claw hits is grabbed.
Challenge comes in the form of space hazards, which become more numerous the longer C.L.A.W.D. survives. Initially it is just asteroids, which can be destroyed by hitting them with the claw and also grant points. As the game progresses, however, indestructible space junk and gluttonous-looking aliens work their way on the screen and must merely be deflected; ricocheting off of anything else they hit. Also in the space age arsenal are comets that can be deflected into other objects to destroy them, black holes where players get their claw stuck (it is released by rapidly tapping the screen), and aliens that fire rockets at C.L.A.W.D.
To aide in the player’s defense, they have multiple lives, with one being lost should they be hit. Additionally, the occasional grabable power-up will meander onto the screen. One will add a score multiplier, another will repulse everything on screen away from C.L.A.W.D., and a third will power up the claw so it destroys any obstacle it touches. The most useful, however, turns objects into crystals (there are also asteroids with crystal deposits on them from time to time that can be snagged).
These crystals act as a currency in Rocket Claw that allows players to unlock new content and power-ups at the start of each game. In terms of the former, players can unlock a survival mode where they have one life or a timed mode where there are no dangers and users must try and get as many points as possible. There is also a different variation of C.L.A.W.D. that can be bought, but this is only a visual difference.
For power-ups, players can spend a bit of their minerals to get more powerful claws, faster claws, extra lives, and so on. Unfortunately, these are only used for one play through. Once players run out of lives, they are lost and must be purchased again.
Gathering enough crystals to really make use of these power-ups takes a good bit of time too, with average sittings will only garner a handful at a time. Even so, they’re not really necessary to enjoy the game, and if the player becomes impatient, they can buy packs in-app or complete special offers to earn some.
Visually, Rocket Claw deserves a bit of praise as well. There is not a lot to the visual in regards to quantity, but C.L.A.W.D. himself comes with a great deal of personality. Every action performed has a reaction whether or not he saves an astronaut or gets smacked in the face with a comet. The music works well too, fading into the background as part of the gameplay and subtly enhancing the futuristic, space age feel of the app.
In short, Rocket Claw is a fun game. It is incredibly simplistic, but each aspect of the game is polished and entertaining. Also, play sessions are only a few minutes at a time, making it an ideal game for iPhone. Players can jump in and mess around for a little bit without having to worry about a significant time investment. All that in mind, Rocket Claw is a great game that comes highly recommended.