Look up. Are pigs flying? Ok, just checking, because in case you hadn't heard True Axis' Space Tripper [$3.99] is now available in the App Store. If you've heard the tale of Space Tripper's perilous development cycle that spanned more than three years, then you might be apt to think that pigs flying would be about as plausible as the game being released. However, after a late push from the developers these past couple of months, they have finally released Space Tripper out into the wild.

As a quick recap, Space Tripper started as a Mac and PC game created by PomPom Games back in 2001. In 2006, it was rereleased on the PlayStation Network as an enhanced version by the name of Astro Tripper. True Axis began working on an iOS port of the game back in mid-2008, but were riddled with setbacks that pushed the release back many times.

It features 14 different levels across 4 worlds in Campaign, Time Attack, and Challenge modes. There is OpenFeint and Game Center integration for leaderboards and achievements, and there's even a built-in cheat menu if you're finding the game a bit too difficult (though this will disable leaderboard and achievement tracking), just like the old days!

Now I don't think anybody would argue that Space Tripper doesn't look quite gorgeous, with vibrant colors, interesting enemies littering the screen, and huge boss fights. But, I'm betting at least a few of you are feeling hesitant about the game's tilt-only control scheme. Heck, I'm not typically a fan of tilt controls either, unless they're done extremely well. After playing with Space Tripper for just a short while, I can see that the tilt controls are indeed rock solid. However, as good as the tilt controls are, if enough people request it True Axis will look into a touch control option. They've tried it already and weren't happy with the results, hence why they aren't included already.

At any rate, Space Tripper seems to be good arcade shooter action already. We'll be taking a closer look at the game in the coming days, and you can check out early impressions of Space Tripper from gamers in our forums.

  • Anonymous

    I'm going to buy this just so I can give the people that made jet car stunts more money, and wish for a #2 soon! Hopefully this will be fun as well though, if anyone can make tilt controls work well its definitely them

  • Anonymous

    I have to correct one thing in this article: tilt position IS adjustable in the menu, as well as sensitivity..

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Thank you, I don't know how I completely missed that option. I took that part out of the article.

  • Kamil Malinski

    this needs iCade support!

  • http://twitter.com/Kamblad Torbjörn Kämblad

    No touch controls at launch of a shooter = skipping it. Won't request something that should be a standard part of any iOS shooter. Sad with lazy devs.

    • http://twitter.com/starksimon Stark

      Exactly. The lack of touch controls is totally moronic. My money stays with me for now.

    • Anonymous

      I'm not going to call it moronic, as it does seem that tilt is a good idea here (to avoid obscuring the screen, and other touch elements)
      A relevant point is that if (as the article states) the functionality has been written, and they are willing to include it later; just bung it in first time! What's the point in removing functionality, and asking the users to request it be reinstated?

      • http://twitter.com/trueaxis True Axis

        The decision for no touch controls came down to the fact that we tested them early on in the development and they basically just didn't work well with this game. It might be different in games that where designed from ground up to work with touch, but this is a port. We can't necessarily copy the way some of the most popular control methods work such as relative controls, or duel stick, because it just isn't that kind of game.

        However, the tests we did where a long time ago on much older firmware and hardware, so there is good chance that touch controls might possibly work better now.

        On the other hand, fingers obscuring the screen is an issue with this game, as it hasn't been original designed with that in mind, being a port.

        We basically believe that we have implemented the tilt controls very well, and it is the superior way to play this particular game and want to give people a chance to see if they are willing to give it a chance.

        Of couse some of the final decision had to do with not wanting to delay the game any further.

      • http://twitter.com/trueaxis True Axis

        Our reasoning was that we tested out touched controls for Space Tripper a long time ago and found that they really didn't work for this game. Some iPhone games have been designed for touch controls, but Space Tripper is a port, so we have to try to stay faithful, and some control methods like relative controls, or duel stick don't make much sense here.

        There have been a quite few hardware and software updates since we tested touch controls so they may well be better now, and we could potentially learn something from other games. But, there is still going to be a problem with fingers obscuring the action on this game.

        In the end, we believe that tilt is the better way to play this particular game and hoped people would give it a chance. We put a lot of effort to make sure the tilt controls work well. With the long development history, we chose to get the game out sooner rather then delaying it any more to try to add a touch control method which we are still not sure how well will work for this particular game.

      • http://twitter.com/trueaxis True Axis

        Sorry for the double post. The original disappeared for a while, even refreshing the browser wouldn't bring it back.

    • Anonymous

      It's a flying shooter. Tilt to maneuver. Tap right to change direction. Tap left to toggle weapons. That's it. It doesn't need anything else! 

  • http://twitter.com/steviebe steven bell

    The tilt controls are spot on it doesn't need touch control

  • Anonymous

    I agree completely.
    Tilt is very well implemented in this game, like Flipship and Tilt To Live, this is one shooter where tilt actually makes sense.
    If people don't buy because of lack of touch control, they're seriously missing out on one of the best, if not THE best shooter on the AppStore to date.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GHIIHTRJXIOZCAF2GESNKZH264 himanshu

    Oh Good. On to Jet Car Stunts 2 fellas! :)

    This game had a long waiting time. If this controls as well as Tilt to Live... I have absolutely no issues in this being only tilt-only.

  • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

    The thing about the tilt controls is that once you try them you realize they're the perfect controls for this game. I couldn't imagine playing any other way. 

    However, I do think it's conceivable that touch controls could work, probably similar to how Deathsmiles controls, but it will definitely be way more cumbersome. I don't think it would hurt to have them as an option for people that want to try them though.

    A lite version would be nice. I think even tilt haters (often myself included) would be convinced after actually trying it.

  • http://www.outsource-website-design.com outsourcing website

    Wow, great to here about this space tripper release. 

  • Anonymous

    This is great! I bought it as soon as I saw the article. Played this through the Mac version many times, glad to see it on iPad. 

    PLEASE, make an option for the ORIGINAL sounds! They're much better than the "updated" ones!