We have played a lot of games, but not one has been quite like Moon Drop. It’s one of those simple yet unique concepts that require a surprising amount of control of the iPhone’s touch interface. Yet, some oversights keep it just shy of our top score.
In Moon Drop, you land lunar pods onto a platform located on the bottom of the screen (or the Moon, if you will). You can control their speed and movement by tapping anywhere on the screen. The pods will then move in the opposite direction. Keeping your finger beneath the pods for a period of time will thrust them up, while quicker taps keep them falling, but at a slower pace. Also, the effect you have on them depends on the distance between the pod and your finger. In short, there are a lot of factors that go into the physics and controls.
However, there are some twists. Any time you do not touch the screen the pods descend at an increasingly faster rate, and if they crash into the ground at a high enough velocity, they will explode. Also, missing the platform also spells out death. If you cause three pods to explode, it’s game over.
Each set of pods comes down in a wave, and each one is increasingly difficult. At the start of the game, you are only responsible for one or two pods, but they quickly come down in groups of six or more. There are also bonus waves, which include more difficult formations than what you’ve seen up to that point in the game, but failing to land pods does not result in a penalty.
Gently, now, gently!
After each wave, you are given a humorous remark or space joke from an astronaut, and your score. The scoring system includes the number of pods landed, a group bonus (how many pods you can land together), and a target bonus (how many pods you land in the center of the platform). This means that seasoned players will be able to rack up a greater score in less time by collecting bonus scores, which is great for those hunting for high scores.
One thing we feel was a missed opportunity for Moon Drop was an option for multitouch controls. While we understand this was likely a design choice, being able to use more than one finger at a time could make the game even more engaging and intuitive. For example, we would love to be able to pinch underneath a pod to shoot it back into the air or make a wall to keep the pods in a straight line.
A major oversight we found in the game was the online scoring, which uses Twitter. The idea is that you can tweet your score and it will appear on the high score list. However, this causes ‘spam” to your followers, something which can be quite problematic. Also, not everybody has a Twitter account so the range of users able to use online scoring is limited. We hope that NimbleBit goes the route of true online scoring in a future update.
Even with these issues, Moon Drop is still a worthwhile purchase for the current asking price of $0.99.