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