Last October, one man indie developer Owens Rodriguez released Alien Space [$1.99/Lite], a dual-stick shooter set in – where else? – space. It’s not easy releasing a new game into a genre that is literally flooded with great games, but Alien Space managed to hold its own against the competition with excellent controls, interesting enemies, cool weapons, and a great upgrade system; and it had a fairly loyal following of fans in our forums.

Shortly after the release of Alien Space, Owens started kicking around the idea of creating an alternate version of the game that was based around a retro arcade look rather than the contemporary space setting of the original. We took a peek at an early version of this project back at Macworld in January, and after a slightly longer development cycle than was intended, Alien Space Retro [99¢] popped into the App Store just before this past weekend.

Alien Space Retro includes the same 30 campaign levels and survival mode from the original game, plus it has several new features beyond the slick retro graphics that are available as in-app purchases. There are 4 new weapons - 2 heavy and 2 light - that are available for 99¢ each, or all together as a pack for $1.99 which will also include any future additional IAP weapons for free.

Aside from the weapons, there is also a brand new game mode called Lost in Space available for a 99¢ IAP. In this mode there are no enemies or weapons, rather you are lost in an asteroid field with a heavily damaged ship where even the slightest collision will cause you to explode. Basically, you’re a 1976 Ford Pinto. To make matters worse, your energy level is constantly depleting as well, so you must be on the lookout for crystals dropped by asteroids colliding into each other in order to keep your energy level afloat.

The new Lost in Space mode is definitely my favorite part about Alien Space Retro. There is an entirely different strategy to dodging asteroids and the energy depletion factor ensures you’re constantly on your toes, in my case usually in a state of panic. If you aren’t the type that’s fond of IAP, the campaign and survival modes included in the initial price are excellent on their own, and provide a ton of gameplay. Just be aware that it isn’t a whole lot different than the original Alien Space, aside from the retro visuals.

That retro eye candy sure is nice though, with Retina Display support and more particle effects than you can shake a stick at. It’s also a universal app and plays wonderfully well on the iPhone or iPad. If you aren’t a fan of the retro look, and I know there are some of you out there, then consider picking up the original Alien Space if you haven’t already. If you were already a fan of the original game, then the new goodies in Alien Space Retro are certainly worth checking out, and players in our forums seem to be loving the game quite a bit as well.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • spidey

    So for 30 levels + the weapons + the lost in space = 4 bucks for the whole game, is that right? I suppose it's a fair ask, considering it's universal. But I do hope the dev doesn't get too greedy and keeps launching minimal stuff and asks for money.

    Also, is there a way the developer can differentiate between the buyer who has bought the 1.99$ IAP and who has not bought it or bought, say only 1 weapon, to be able to give future updates for free or charge for it? Didn't know one could do that.

    • Anonymous

      you can do anything with software.

    • Anonymous

      He should be able to simply update any IAP content to give updates to whoever he wants. So, if you buy the $1.99 pack, you get all of the updates. If you buy anything else, new weapons are probably a different purchase.

    • AlienSpaceDev

      If I understand your question correctly, then yes when you buy the weapon pack then I keep track of it in the saved game, so it unlocks all the IAP weapons.  So whenever there are new IAP weapons added, they will also be unlocked.  Of course if you delete the game and re-install, that saved game is lost.  But, in that case all you have to do is re-download the WeaponPack IAP from Apple which you dont have to pay for since you already bought it, and then the game will once again unlock all the weapons.

  • Dmarcoot

    Reminds me of Sinistar. Now That is a game that needs to be remade

  • Unclelimey

    Great game, really enjoying it

  • hteyodo

    Great fun!

  • KiwiGummy

    Alien Space was one of my favorite games.  This is actually even better and I love the graphics.  The new game mode in indeed completely different and challenging.  Highly recommended.

  • Markus

    There's a game called Ace Omicron that has that same survival retro vibe. It's a universal app too that came out some time ago. I love these kinds of space shooters!

  • travel junkie

    I
    Love this game! Without dating myself, I was an Asteroids addict. Now I travel frequently
    for work and the original Alien Space was a favorite to pass the hours by. Now
    I have a new favorite! The best thing about this game is that it's not predictable
    like the above mentioned games! I was in a drab meeting today and I couldn't
    wait to get back to the hotel to grab my iPad. Let’s face it for .99 cents you can’t
    go wrong!  Also, if you go all out and
    buy the extra goodies, you still can't go wrong.  Four bucks is still less than most of us spend
    on our morning coffee!  This is just my
    two cents FWIW…  From someone that spends
    countless hours traveling, I highly recommend!

  • chengkun he
Alien Space Retro Reviewed by Jared Nelson on . Rating: 4