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AZ Rockets review - An interesting twist on the shooter


For: iPhone   Also on: iPad
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Shooting off in a new direction

Product: AZ Rockets | Publisher: Itatake | Format: iPhone | Genre: Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
How far do you think it's possible to strip back the humble shooter?

If you're thinking of fairground-style target shooters or autofiring shmups, AZ Rockets has news for you.

This is one-button gaming at its purest.

Static target

That example of fairground target shooters is actually pretty useful for describing AZ Rockets. The game flips that traditional concept on its head.

Rather than the targets moving past a static gun, it's the gun that moves past static targets instead.

In each level, AZ Rockets splits up a word into its constituent letters and scatters them around as targets. It then threads a line through the middle of them all, which serves as a conveyor belt for your supply of rockets.

Tapping the screen at the appropriate point fires the lead rocket in the direction it's pointing. The skill here is to time your presses just right in order to hit the letter-targets without wasting shots.



Ad nausea

It's a very simple premise, with little in the way of embellishment. Some of the rockets will spin on the spot, or fire in two directions, which spices things up a little, but the gameplay remains brutally simple and fairly one-dimensional.

Your chief pressure here is a countdown timer, which moves from forgiving to brutally exacting in short order. You'll soon encounter levels that require you to be extremely efficient and snappy with your shots.

It's a pretty satisfying game to play, with the snappy pace of the levels and simple variety in its missile tracks encouraging you to reel off several successive levels in quick succession.

It's a shame, then, that the freemium system spoils that momentum so frequently. Fail a level - which you will, numerous times - and you usually need to watch a lengthy ad to try again. This really breaks the game's flow, and actively damages the experience.

Of course, you could always pay to remove the ads - and if you take to the experience, I'd recommend that you do so. But the simple fact is that most won't, and so the experience that most people will get is of a fresh but irritatingly staccato shooter.
 
AZ Rockets review - An interesting twist on the shooter
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 17 April 2018
AZ Rockets is a classy, brutally streamlined one-button shooter, but its precarious balance is somewhat spoiled by a heavy-handed freemium structure
 
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