One of this week's new releases is called An Alien with a Magnet from Rejected Games, and I'm having a surprisingly great time with it so far. You play as an alien who, while cruising around the galaxy in his UFO, crash lands on a planet, damaging his spacecraft. You happen across a magical U-shaped item that seems to attract the metal parts he'll need to fix his ship. Yes, you guessed it, the U-shaped item is indeed a magnet. Thus begins the alien's adventure across the galaxy as he attaches the magnet to his craft and visits planets to collect stars and gems.
I'm not exactly sure what to call the genre of games that An Alien with a Magnet fits into, but if you've played games like Jump O'Clock [$0.99], Astronut [Free / $1.99 (HD)], or Mr.Ninja [$0.99 / Free] then you should have an idea of what the gameplay is like here. Spinning Circle Jumping Game, I guess?
Anyway, An Alien with a Magnet plays a bit differently than those others. Each level is a series of planets, and you'll start off on one of them and make your way to each until you reach an end goal. Touching the screen causes your alien to travel around the planet – they don't just spin on their own like the other games I mentioned. Another differentiating factor is that you don't launch straight off of one planet to another, rather you'll travel in the direction that the front of your craft is pointing when you release your touch, so there's a bit more strategy to the aiming when moving between planets.
In addition, gravity is key, and when you get near a planet you'll need to touch the screen at the right time to attract your alien to the surface. He won't just stick to it automatically, and if you don't time it properly you can actually crash your UFO into the planet and end your run.
So far I'm enjoying An Alien with a Magnet, as it's a nice take on the Spinning Circle Jumping Game genre which I have just recently named. The speed of the alien's movement feels a bit slow overall for my taste, but perhaps things will pick up as I dive farther into the game. Be sure to add it to your TouchArcade [Free] Watch List and see what people in our forums are saying about the game as it moves towards a US release later tonight.
International App Store Link: An Alien with a Magnet, $0.99 (Universal)
Watch Button Watch App