Rocket Riot is undoubtedly the best side scroller to come out of the iPhone game scene as of yet. With easy, innovative controls, charming visuals, enjoyable music, plenty of varied levels, and adorable Minecraft style block enviornments, it’s literally proving difficult to fault this game. It’s actually proving quite difficult not to pick it up and start playing again right now.
The premise of Rocket Riot is that some cheeky character called Blockbeard (okay, so the script isn’t Shakespeare) has gone and stolen everyone’s legs. As you do. However, the scientific community has had a cursory poke around into improbable uses for jet engines, and has managed to make a jetpack you stick where your legs were. Think R2D2, but with no legs, and a little hovercraft engine on the bottom. Or don’t, that’s probably more confusing. Your movements around the environments are controlled by dragging your finger across the left half of the screen; go left to go left, up to go up, etc, and your weapon use is controlled by dragging your finger across the right half of the screen; drag where you want to blow up. This sounds somewhat gimmicky, but in reality, it’s no different to having an analog stick for each action, except you can’t see the analog sticks, which means less screen clutter and more space available to make moves, and it actually makes for a far smoother gaming experience.
The objectives of the levels vary; most are standard ‘kill X baddies and you win’ scenarios, but other objectives are present; a particularly cool one near the start has you picking up american footballs and scoring goals with them to hit your target and complete the level. By blowing up the environment (ALL of which is destructible, and even better, GROWS BACK, for more exploding pleasure), you can occasionally get power-ups, which are standard over-the-top side-scrolling shooter fare, bouncy missiles, super speed, etc.
There’s the standard achievement system in place for the Xbox Live addicts out there, and enough levels to make the game well worth a dollar. Of course you’ll enjoy it more if you’re already a fan of shooters, but this is pretty much a must have for any iPhone gamer whatsoever.