Life has been fairly stressful for me lately, unfortunately. So whenever I have some downtime, I just want to sit down and relax with some games on my phone or tablet. As much as I like puzzle games, sometimes even those can stress me out a bit. When that happens, I turn to other games, such as arcade games, to take my mind off of my troubles. When I saw info on AZ Rockets hit my inbox, I was curious, since it seemed to combine words and arcade games into one. AZ Rockets is also built in the spirit of the developers previous title, 99 Rockets, so if you were a fan of that, then this game should appeal to you too.
App Feels Like
App Feels Like
Visually, AZ Rockets is beautifully simplistic. If you like minimally designed games, then AZ Rockets was made for you. The game features simple color backgrounds and straight or curvy white lines that contrast nicely with the backdrops. The shape of the rockets are distinctive, and there are nice particle effects going on when the rockets hit their target. The typography in AZ Rockets is easy-to-read, despite being a mix of script and sans-serif fonts. The colors for backgrounds are a fantastic mix of soft pastels and bold hues that don't overdo things. Animations are smooth and fluid with no lag on my iPhone 8 Plus. The ambient soundtrack is atmospheric, immersive, and rather soothing to listen to. Overall, AZ Rockets is a great minimalistic visual and audio package.
Even though AZ Rockets is an arcade style game, it's still level-based. Each stage gives players a limited number of rockets to start with, and they travel along the white lines on the screen. Letters, or groups of letters, are scattered about, and the goal is to hit each letter target with a rocket. They spell out words, which reveal themselves at the end, though it's not hard to figure out if you're a fast reader. However, you only have a limited amount of time for each level, and while you can get more rockets if you miss, you'll have to wait for them to cycle through, which means wasted time. AZ Rockets is about speed and precision — every rocket counts.
The controls in AZ Rockets are simple and intuitive. The rockets come in on the line automatically, with no effort from you. However, you need to fire them when they're at the right trajectory from the line to hit the targets, and this is done by tapping the screen. This is where geometry comes in, as you must tap at the right time for the rocket to be flung off of the line at the right angle to get the target. While it sounds easy, it's definitely challenging, especially on later levels with more curves and loops to worry about. While you do get more rockets if you miss, the clock doesn't stop and the other rockets must cycle through the track before coming back around.
If you played 99 Rockets before, then AZ Rockets should be instantly familiar to you. However, the difference is that while you have unlimited rockets here (99 Rockets only gave you, well, 99 rockets), you have to be quick on your toes because of the timer.
AZ Rockets is a free download, so anyone can get the game and play. However, it does have occasional ads, but you can get rid of them through a premium upgrade in-app purchase. This also gets you extra features, like more rocket shapes and starting from your last reached level instead of from the beginning.
You need to be quick and on-your-toes to hit all of your targets in AZ Rockets.
While AZ Rockets looks like a simple game on the surface, it's actually much more challenging than you'd ever think it was. The minimalistic aesthetic is pleasant on the eyes, and the sound design is delightful. The controls are simple and allow for the game to be played with one hand, but you do need to be on top of your aiming. This is definitely a challenge, and great for those who want a quick little game whenever they have a moment.
As great as AZ Rockets is, I can see this getting a bit frustrating for some people. It's definitely not for those who are impatient, like to rush through things, and have bad aim when it comes to trajectories. I also feel that sometimes there just isn't enough time on some stages, making it feel almost impossible to beat since you're screwed over if you even miss just one target. This leads to frustration, as mentioned, which is never a good thing. i think that the difficulty level on some stages should be adjusted to be a bit more forgiving, but still keep the challenge in the game. You know, balancing tweaks.
I'm always up for a challenge, so AZ Rockets is a gem in my mobile game collection. I enjoy the minimalism behind it all, and the music is great to listen to. Controls are simple enough for anyone to pick up and play, but this is truly a game that takes time and practice to fully master. I just hope to see some balancing tweaks made in the future so it's a bit less frustrating. Otherwise, this is a great little gem to test your skills.
AZ Rockets is available on the App Store as a universal download for your iPhone and iPad for free. There are in-app purchases.