The term “hidden gem" has become so cliche over the years that I try to avoid using it, but if ever there was a game that fit the term like a glove it would be Astro Attack (Free) from developer Blocky Pixel. Originally launched in April of 2016, Astro Attack takes the vertical shooting of classics like Space Invaders and Galaga but wraps it into a Crossy Road-inspired endless high score chase package. What makes Astro Attack stand out so much is its obvious love for the history of video games, as it features dozens of unlockable ships inspired by all corners of the video game world and even some pop culture references too. Also similar to Crossy Road, each new ship comes with its own visual theme and unique enemies. So for example if you unlock the Astrobuddy ship you’ll get a playfield that looks strikingly similar to a little grey handheld that took the world by storm in the late ’80s and early ’90s along with appropriately styled enemies. It’s a lot of fun!
So it’s been a couple of years since Astro Attack’s release, and although it received frequent updates throughout 2016 adding in tons of new content and features, its last update was in December of that year, and I’ve been worried that we might never see an update again. But my worries were unfounded, as over the weekend Blocky Pixel released a brand new update for Astro Attack bringing the highly desired (by me) full screen iPhone X support as well as three very cool brand new ships. Up to this point all the ships in Astro Attack have been voxels, so while they were technically three dimensional models they still looked like old pixel art ships. This new update ushers in the world of fully polygonal 3D ships to the game, all inspired by “your favorite 64-bit console!" Yes party like it’s 1996 with those rounded edges, my friends. Astro Attack is one of my favorite go-to games for when I have a few minutes to kill, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to see it get a new update, so if you’ve missed out on this one the past couple of years definitely give it a look and find all sorts of neat information (including how to access a hidden first-person mode!) in the discussion thread in our forums.