Here at GDC we had a chance to sit down with retro savvy Dan Bliss from BinarySquare and preview his upcoming iPad / iPhone (Universal) game Flick Rocket. With this one, I think Dan has outdone himself on delivering the retro aesthetic goodness; the game's visuals pretty much jump off the screen and smack you in the face.

Flick Rocket is something of a mash-up of Missile Command, Space Invaders, Centipede, and Asteroids -- and that's quite a combination. As in Missile Command, you control a defense turret with the goal of defending a city from attack. But this time around, your missiles are much more obviously missiles, rendered out in glowing pixellated goodness. They are dispatched with a swipe mechanic that sends them off at any trajectory you choose. So, who are you shooting at? That's where things get interesting.

The first type of enemy you must defend against is a horde of Space Invaders-style alien baddies that slowly march across the screen while dropping bombs upon Tokyo. The second assault comes in the form of a pixellated space centipede that meanders about the screen in an effort to flatten Paris. The third and final type of onslaught comes in the form of a brutal hale of asteroids that, unchecked, may spell the end of Los Angeles.

There are a number of power-ups that appear when certain enemies are destroyed, including a driller shot which lets your rockets cut through a swath of enemies and bounce off the walls; a bounce shot which causes your rocket to bounce about the advancing enemies, taking out several before exploding; a blaster shot that unleashes multiple warheads from your rocket upon detonation, and a confusion power-up that causes your rockets to fly all willy nilly. And, while firing rockets is a core mechanic, don't do so with too great an abandon, as there is a rocket damage multiplier that rewards you for judicious use of your weapons.

Flick Rocket features online leaderboard and achievement tracking, a Campaign and a quick-play Arcade mode, and requires a bit of strategy to rank well. It's a clever title with a great look that I'm anxious to spend more than those few minutes in the Marriott lobby with.

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    Looks sweet to me. One of those ideas I wish I'd thought of. Looks like an insta-buy for me.

    • GR00V3R

      So get Orbital Defence, which this is a clone of. Its been out for at least a year. :)

      • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

        Good on the developer of orbital defence, for the shooter controls but that game doesn't look as visually appealing and fun as this one. Plus this one is for iPad, too, which is part of why I dig it.

        Thanks for the tip on the other game, though.

      • GR00V3R

        No worries, manez. Orbital Defence is one of my personal faves, so I reckon you'll enjoy it. :)

  • SamiHIan

    Very cool!!

  • Robotron2084

    Looks brilliant! Nice work, devs! Retro forever! =)

  • http://twitter.com/coolpowers Simon Windmill

    Looks lovely, should be an instant purchase.

  • Penises

    Rockets or penises?

  • Oliver Schulze

    Looks a little bit like "Neon Battle HD" ;-)

    • http://twitter.com/coolpowers Simon Windmill

      Kind of, different mechanic though, and that makes all the difference.

  • Steverd

    Missile Commend meets Space Invaders meets Centipede!

  • Totoro

    I'd describe this game more like Space Invaders, Bust-a-Move and Ramp Champ had a threesome.

  • GR00V3R

    Wow. That is the most blatant clone of Orbital Defence. Except Orbital Defence has 3D graphics. FAIL. :)

  • horse

    Looks interesting. Uses the same flick mechanic as Orbital Defence and thats heaps of fun so this should be good too.

    • GR00V3R

      Yeah, valid. Nothing wrong with clones so long as they're good clones. :)

  • Dan Bliss

    Just because Flick Rocket uses a flicking motion and happens to be in the shooter genre, doesn't mean that it's anything like Orbital Defence. If you like the older arcade shooters like space invaders, galaga, galaxian, centipede, missile command, atlantis, astroids, etc., you will absolutely love FR. By the way, Paper Toss used this play control long before anyone else.

    • GR00V3R

      Sorry, man, but looking at the video again, it _still_ looks like the Orbital Defence gameplay (that same flick-to-shoot thing) but with a 2D neon aesthetic instead of the 3D.

      Don't get me wrong. I loved Orbital Defence and Flick Rocket looks pretty cool too—I'll probably buy it if the reviews are any good—but it's _definitely_ a clone because of the copied the Orbital Defence flick-shoot thing. If it sounds like a duck and it looks like a duck and all that. :)

  • ZiggZ

    I say: "YES"!

  • SamiHIan

    Just bought it from the US store. Loving it! So fun & addictive!!