iPhone developer Paul Carter has recently released a game into the App Store that will surely grab the attention of iPhone-toting fans of cave-flyers and gravity games. GravSpace [link] is basically an iPhone take on the classic cave-flyer, Thrust, that keeps fairly close to the original while adding a few modern treatments.

GravSpace puts you in the pilot's seat of a GravShip in a last bid for victory in the war against the evil Zyritons. Your craft has been designed specifically to capture the Zyriton energy pods that have been hidden deep within various planets across the galaxy. These pods, heavily protected by automated defense systems, must be captured and skillfully returned to space, towed through the planets' treacherous system of underground caves and tunnels. As if that wasn't rough enough, your ship has a finite fuel supply and stopping to beam up fuel from scattered fuel storage tanks is an unfortunate necessity.

The game utilizes a combination of accelerometer- and touch-based controls to guide your GravShip through the subterranean mazes. Steering is carried out by a tilt to the left or right while thrust, shields, lasers, and your proximity blast are handled via onscreen buttons. Sensitivity and orientation of the tilt controls can be adjusted.

As mentioned earlier, GravSpace strives to reproduce the Thrust experience, but with certain modern flourishes such as galactic bitmap backdrops, scrolling starfields, and particle effects across 14 missions. (The game also features 14 additional graphically sparse, bonus "retro" missions.) But, still, it's on the basic side as compared to more elaborate takes on the formula, such as Big Head Games' Retro [App Store]. And that's not said as a bad thing; perhaps my favorite Thrust experience is the indie remake for the Vectrex -- and that's pretty basic.

The initial release version in the App Store right now, v1.1, exhibits the occasional graphics glitch here and there on my iPhone 3GS test device. They're not show-stoppers, but they do need to be addressed by the developer, and we've no reason to believe they won't.

See the developers video:

I've spent significant time with this title over the past week and, as a particular fan of the genre, find it rather hard to put down. I think it's a no-brainer purchase for anyone with tastes similar to my own, and it's a nice opportunity for those unfamiliar with Thrust and friends, but who are interested in seeing what the cave-flyer excitement all about.

App Store Link: GravSpace, $0.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Wildthing

    I haven't spent enough time to get to know the reviewer of this website but his/her opinion is exceptionally classy. I've tracked this game briefly and toucharcade has swiftly found it too.
    This be the truth - long live toucharcade - they know the score. I'm not a developer i'm a free man - they are well bred gaming gurus.

  • Wildthing

    I haven't spent enough time to get to know the reviewer of this website but his/her opinion is exceptionally classy. I've tracked this game briefly and toucharcade has swiftly found it too.
    This be the truth - long live toucharcade - they know the score. I'm not a developer i'm a free man - they are well bred gaming gurus.

  • http://biowiki.org/IanHolmes Ian Holmes

    XPilot is also on the App Store, but it's really hard.

    Apparently Exile (closest thing there is to a sequel to Thrust, but so so much more than that) is also headed to the App Store this year.

  • http://biowiki.org/IanHolmes Ian Holmes

    XPilot is also on the App Store, but it's really hard.

    Apparently Exile (closest thing there is to a sequel to Thrust, but so so much more than that) is also headed to the App Store this year.

  • Adams Immersive

    Maybe this will tide me over until the developer of Amiga classic TurboRaketti II can be tracked down and persuaded (gently) to port to iPhone. 2-player cave-flyer dueling PLUS racing in one! (And I like that it had tiny ships in big spaces—using sheer speed instead of tight quarters to create the risk of wall-death.)

    • TKO

      You ever tried Roketz on the Amiga? Sounds very similar. Awesome wee game. Development was never finished on the 2-player link-up mode they wanted to do, but the product they did release was a damn fine thing to behold. (I was addicted to it for the longest time.) :)

  • Adams Immersive

    Maybe this will tide me over until the developer of Amiga classic TurboRaketti II can be tracked down and persuaded (gently) to port to iPhone. 2-player cave-flyer dueling PLUS racing in one! (And I like that it had tiny ships in big spaces—using sheer speed instead of tight quarters to create the risk of wall-death.)

    • TKO

      You ever tried Roketz on the Amiga? Sounds very similar. Awesome wee game. Development was never finished on the 2-player link-up mode they wanted to do, but the product they did release was a damn fine thing to behold. (I was addicted to it for the longest time.) :)

  • jeebus

    Looks like a fun game, but what ever happened to originality? This game is just a clone of solar jetman from the NES. Although, solar jetman could be a clone of another game altogether, but i feel like alot of these ipod games are just ripoff artists trying to make a buck.

  • jeebus

    Looks like a fun game, but what ever happened to originality? This game is just a clone of solar jetman from the NES. Although, solar jetman could be a clone of another game altogether, but i feel like alot of these ipod games are just ripoff artists trying to make a buck.

  • http://www.badbumble.com BadBumble

    For some reason the link takes me to Retro - Cave Flyer (UK iTunes store).
    Downloading the game now. Loved Thruster so much on the C64.
    For $.99 you can't complain about a game as long as you get an hours worth of fun from it.

  • http://www.badbumble.com BadBumble

    For some reason the link takes me to Retro - Cave Flyer (UK iTunes store).
    Downloading the game now. Loved Thruster so much on the C64.
    For $.99 you can't complain about a game as long as you get an hours worth of fun from it.

  • http://www.badbumble.com BadBumble

    On a slightly different note, I would love to see someone do Oids (an old Atari ST Thrust style game) for the iPhone. I'ld do all the gf/x for it if anyone is interested??

  • http://www.badbumble.com BadBumble

    On a slightly different note, I would love to see someone do Oids (an old Atari ST Thrust style game) for the iPhone. I'ld do all the gf/x for it if anyone is interested??

  • mgabrys

    Thurst remake?

    1982 called they want their game back - from ALL of the knockoffs in the last 28 years.

    http://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=8000

  • mgabrys

    Thurst remake?

    1982 called they want their game back - from ALL of the knockoffs in the last 28 years.

    http://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=8000

  • Tack

    I've been a fan of Retro for over a year. Thanks for giving it props.

  • Tack

    I've been a fan of Retro for over a year. Thanks for giving it props.

  • HelperMonkey

    Lord knows I'VE been wondering what all "the cave-flyer excitement" is about. I can hardly get away from it.
    Ask someone what their thoughts are on the iPad, and they're like, "I-what? Is that a new cave-flyer?! Sweet!"

  • HelperMonkey

    Lord knows I'VE been wondering what all "the cave-flyer excitement" is about. I can hardly get away from it.
    Ask someone what their thoughts are on the iPad, and they're like, "I-what? Is that a new cave-flyer?! Sweet!"

  • Mr. Reeee

    It was a Mac game, too. A Mac OS X version was released in the mid-90's. It even runs on Snow Leopard!

    There's a game called Dropship, that's similar.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dropship/id299427316?mt=8

    • http://www.badbumble.com BadBumble

      Really! Cool, I'll have to have a look around for it. I played that game so much on the ST (and Dungeon Master made by the same people (FTL)).

  • Mr. Reeee

    It was a Mac game, too. A Mac OS X version was released in the mid-90's. It even runs on Snow Leopard!

    There's a game called Dropship, that's similar.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dropship/id299427316?mt=8

    • http://www.badbumble.com BadBumble

      Really! Cool, I'll have to have a look around for it. I played that game so much on the ST (and Dungeon Master made by the same people (FTL)).

  • Mr. Reeee

    ooops, OIDS, that is.

  • Mr. Reeee

    ooops, OIDS, that is.

  • jeffyg3

    Just got it. It's OK, but Dropship by NGMOCO plays just like this game, controls are better, more fun to play, and not only that...Dropship is free. Kind of a waste of dollar to me, already deleted it off my iPhone.

  • jeffyg3

    Just got it. It's OK, but Dropship by NGMOCO plays just like this game, controls are better, more fun to play, and not only that...Dropship is free. Kind of a waste of dollar to me, already deleted it off my iPhone.

  • http://sites.google.com/site/gravspace/ Paul Carter

    Thank-you for the positive review, and the comments from everybody else (I'm the developer of this game).
    Yes the game is a 'rip-off' in the sense that it is quite closely following the formula of 'Thrust', and this is because Thrust is one of my all time favourite games, and secondly because this is my first ever game project and I needed to start with something I was familiar with and understood well and really wanted to play on the iPhone. DropShip is also really cool - I hope fans will find room for both games on their devices.

    Just want to note that I am working hard on smoothing out any glitches, and will shortly release an update (v1.2) to Apple which will feature a number of improvements and things to make game-play easier for casual gamers:

    - Option to play without accelerometer.
    - A selection of difficulty levels, ranging from easy (no crashing) to 'classic' (stronger gravity).
    - Directional lazer fire independent of where the ship is pointing.
    - Reduced 'bounce' off walls from using shield.
    - Automatic device orientation screen flipping.

    If you have any problems with the game or suggestions, I welcome your constructive feedback and will try my best to consider your comments for future updates.

    Paul.

  • http://sites.google.com/site/gravspace/ Paul Carter

    Thank-you for the positive review, and the comments from everybody else (I'm the developer of this game).
    Yes the game is a 'rip-off' in the sense that it is quite closely following the formula of 'Thrust', and this is because Thrust is one of my all time favourite games, and secondly because this is my first ever game project and I needed to start with something I was familiar with and understood well and really wanted to play on the iPhone. DropShip is also really cool - I hope fans will find room for both games on their devices.

    Just want to note that I am working hard on smoothing out any glitches, and will shortly release an update (v1.2) to Apple which will feature a number of improvements and things to make game-play easier for casual gamers:

    - Option to play without accelerometer.
    - A selection of difficulty levels, ranging from easy (no crashing) to 'classic' (stronger gravity).
    - Directional lazer fire independent of where the ship is pointing.
    - Reduced 'bounce' off walls from using shield.
    - Automatic device orientation screen flipping.

    If you have any problems with the game or suggestions, I welcome your constructive feedback and will try my best to consider your comments for future updates.

    Paul.

  • http://www.commentbug.com Commentbug here

    its an ok game, not to exciting

  • http://www.commentbug.com Commentbug here

    its an ok game, not to exciting

  • MarcG

    Hey Paul, good to see the developer on here taking an interest.

    I love thrust, and whilst your game shows potential, it's not there yet. Spent time messing with the settings and got the control a lot better but not enough that I didn't want to hurt my phone!

    Looking forward to the update. Keep up the good work.

  • MarcG

    Hey Paul, good to see the developer on here taking an interest.

    I love thrust, and whilst your game shows potential, it's not there yet. Spent time messing with the settings and got the control a lot better but not enough that I didn't want to hurt my phone!

    Looking forward to the update. Keep up the good work.