Review: Space Out by Binary Square
This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: Five Sci-Fi Games, From Space Monkey to Star Wars. Additional details may be found in the original article.
There’s no need for a lengthy description of Binary Square’s Space Out ($3), beyond to describe it as an intentionally ultra-retro mix of Space Invaders and Breakout into a single game. It’s really Space Invaders at the core, but you get a paddle rather than a gunship, and use Breakout-style balls to smash the lines of advancing space invaders. Power ups increase the number or size of balls on screen, the size of your paddle, and so on; levels vary in patterns of aliens, and are bounded by invisible walls that let your ball reflect back rather than floating out into space.
Binary Square’s intentional use of old school art and sound effects, including intentionally vocoder-like voice samples, is a nice touch—if not quite as cool as the radical update Taito gave Space Invaders in its recent Nintendo DS and Sony PSP release Space Invaders Extreme. But then, it’s a lot less expensive: $3 is a fair price for a title of this type. Space Out only misses our flat B-level rating because of its controls, which needn’t be any more advanced than properly tracking dragging gestures at any place on the screen, yet suffer from occasionally complete unresponsiveness and the lack of any ability to be used other than at paddle level on the screen. Those with big fingers will find that they can’t simultaneously see the bullets being fired by the aliens and the paddle that’s about to get hit by them below. While Space Out is a good title as-is, a few small tweaks could make this a much cooler combination of two titles into one. iLounge Rating: B-.