In late December German mobile developer Liquid Air Lab released the free, ad-supported, 5-level Rick Rocketson (Free) [App Store] for the iPhone and iPod touch.  This 2D "jump 'n' run" platformer, done in the retro style, was meant to invoke the classic days of Amiga platform gaming and to serve as a preview to the full 14-level Rick Rocketson Pro.  Today the paid app Rick Rocketson Pro [link] appeared in the iTunes App Store.

The space hero and all around good guy Rick Rocketson was rocketing home from the nefarious planet Omicron Nebula. Then, suddenly the evil and vicious space pirates of the asteroid Blob 5 shot him down! Rick Rocketson must escape or the entire galaxy is doomed!

Fight the furious space hedgehogs by throwing acidogefilus-grenades to them and shoot evil space pirates of the asteroid Blob 5 with laserblaster to survive complex level design loaded with traps, lava and other hazards! Don't forget to pick up some health and ammunition packages!

Those familiar with those late '80s / early '90s days of Amiga gaming will indeed find this title to capture much of the essence of platformers of the era.  Not only does the gameplay harken back to that period, the original Amiga-style soundtrack--composed by Amiga MOD composers Tempest and Reed--plays a large part in the overall experience, as well.

Some features as listed by the developer:

  • Different types of opponents
  • Laser & Grenades as weapons
  • Health, bonus and ammunition collectibles
  • Environmental hazards, lava and traps
  • Controller / screen tapping modes
  • Portrait and landscape modes supported
  • Levels will be stored as you solve them

The game features onscreen controls that work rather well.  Rather than a D-pad, the developers chose to place a Left/Right touch control at the left edge of the screen and an Up/Down control at the right, with laser and grenade buttons between them.  Players may find this arrangement superior to the more standard control rose featured in various other platformers available in the App Store.

As a particular retro fan, I find Rick Rocketson Pro to offer enjoyable gameplay, and would certainly call it one of the more solid 2D platformer experiences available for the iPhone and iPod touch.  Retro fans in particular will likely find the title worth its $1.99 [link] App Store price tag.

See the developer's gameplay video for a closer look.

Game Details
Name: Rick Rocketson Pro (v1.0.1) Price: $1.99 [Buy]
Developer: Liquid Air Lab Size: 1.3 MB
Device: Tested on iPhone 3G
Rick Rocketson Pro is a retro 2D "jump 'n' run" platformer meant to capture the essence of Amiga platform gaming of olde.  Mission accomplished.  Platformer fans will find this title worth the price of admission.

TouchArcade Rating

  • http://angelovilar.com ansirone

    reminds me of old school duke nukem

  • http://angelovilar.com ansirone

    reminds me of old school duke nukem

  • Mike

    If someone can do this, then Capcom needs to make a good megamanX game for iphone.

  • Mike

    If someone can do this, then Capcom needs to make a good megamanX game for iphone.

  • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

    This game is lovely.
    Directly purchased the pro after finishing the lite version.
    That's true love. Now all I want is Turrican 1 and 2 :)
    I grew up with Amiga :)

  • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

    This game is lovely.
    Directly purchased the pro after finishing the lite version.
    That's true love. Now all I want is Turrican 1 and 2 :)
    I grew up with Amiga :)

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  • Kia

    I really couldn't get the hang of this one at all. I -hated- that control scheme. Why they couldn't just make a standard d-pad on the left is beyond me.

  • Kia

    I really couldn't get the hang of this one at all. I -hated- that control scheme. Why they couldn't just make a standard d-pad on the left is beyond me.

  • DukeofAnkh

    I didn't like the controls either. I kept wanting to move my left thumb up to jump. Also, I'm not a fan of on-screen buttons in general.

  • DukeofAnkh

    I didn't like the controls either. I kept wanting to move my left thumb up to jump. Also, I'm not a fan of on-screen buttons in general.

  • dunkee

    I love this control. Once you get used to it, you'll know why it works better than standard D-pad.

  • http://deleted dunkee

    I love this control. Once you get used to it, you'll know why it works better than standard D-pad.

  • aen

    controls are good. but the guy suffers a bit from inertia. must be the retro thingy... i like it though, replaced y nicky boom which i got bored of lately.

  • aen

    controls are good. but the guy suffers a bit from inertia. must be the retro thingy... i like it though, replaced y nicky boom which i got bored of lately.

  • http://www.smiles-game.com PoV

    I was going to ask the exact same thing. What people thought of the unusual control scheme. It does mean you can't climb and fire ... without moving both thumbs at least.

  • http://www.smiles-game.com PoV

    I was going to ask the exact same thing. What people thought of the unusual control scheme. It does mean you can't climb and fire ... without moving both thumbs at least.

  • http://www.metroccolis.com your personal robot

    The controls are MUCH more better than the typical cross pad.
    Now it is easily possible to jump and walk at the same time!
    But I even prefere the control sheme without the direction buttons.
    This is a better use of the touch screen. Why fixing it to vertain areas.
    Kind of controls like this or Dropships nail it for me and they are a
    step into the right direction....

  • http://www.metroccolis.com your personal robot

    The controls are MUCH more better than the typical cross pad.
    Now it is easily possible to jump and walk at the same time!
    But I even prefere the control sheme without the direction buttons.
    This is a better use of the touch screen. Why fixing it to vertain areas.
    Kind of controls like this or Dropships nail it for me and they are a
    step into the right direction....

  • Pinachina

    I too bought this game right after I had completed the demo. It was the music that had grabbed me right away! What an amazing soundtrack! I sometimes just start up a level, then sit back and jam out to the tune there.

    I personally do not mind the controls. What I do is visualize the up key as a jump button rather than a split up directional pad. Makes a lot more sense to me than having a D-pad on the left anyway.

  • Pinachina

    I too bought this game right after I had completed the demo. It was the music that had grabbed me right away! What an amazing soundtrack! I sometimes just start up a level, then sit back and jam out to the tune there.

    I personally do not mind the controls. What I do is visualize the up key as a jump button rather than a split up directional pad. Makes a lot more sense to me than having a D-pad on the left anyway.

  • Kacie

    hey, on Suicide Base, I got over the really big jump in the beginning, but the second one on the individual pillars with the ruby where you have to do the big jump up from down below, I cant get over it!!! Help please!

    klschendel@yahoo.com

  • Kacie

    hey, on Suicide Base, I got over the really big jump in the beginning, but the second one on the individual pillars with the ruby where you have to do the big jump up from down below, I cant get over it!!! Help please!

    klschendel@yahoo.com

  • Ryan

    The trick to Suicide Base is to jump at the very edge of the platform. I personally love the control scheme

  • Ryan

    The trick to Suicide Base is to jump at the very edge of the platform. I personally love the control scheme

  • mark

    how to exit the first level ,,,going back to the exit crate or box and then what ,, do i have to blow it ,, can someone help please,,,,thanks

  • mark

    how to exit the first level ,,,going back to the exit crate or box and then what ,, do i have to blow it ,, can someone help please,,,,thanks