Blast Off

blastoff
What we liked:
+ "One more level" syndrome
+ Nice visuals
+ Lots of levels
+ Endlessly addictive
What we didn't like:
- Makes you want more
- Could use more modes
Rating
8.5
DEVELOPER: Halfbrick   |   PUBLISHER: Halfbrick   |   RELEASE: 11/19/2009

Houston we had a blast.

The idea of PSP Minis is slowly catching my attention. Affordably-priced games that induce impulse buying and mindless entertainment in bite-sized portions seem to be a current trend. Halfbrick Studios is at the forefront and their latest release Blast Off is one of the better offerings to date. Blast Off is about as simple as the name implies. You launch a ship, rescue some astronauts and then make your exit. The levels are short, the controls are spot-on and the fun is priced to own.

As with any game of this type the premise is as simple as they come. You control the launch of a rocket ship and the goal is to save the marooned astronauts while avoiding crashing into planets and all before your fuel runs out. As you can imagine there is also a timer which will decide your overall score. Think of it as a physics-based trajectory game. Figuring out which angle to launch, how much to lay on the throttle and while direction to go are imperative to breaking the high score, though I found myself coming just shy of the Halfbrick standard most of the time.

There are a total of 45 levels within the game and all are able to be unlocked with little effort. The key that keeps you coming back for more are the high scores. Each level can be completed in less than 30 seconds, but mastering it and getting the best time while rescuing all astronauts is a challenge that will take dedication to complete. Thankfully re-launching any mission is as easy as tapping the left trigger once your current launch goes awry. It is this type of accessibility that makes these types of games addictive. It worked with Trials and now with Blast Off.

If achieving high scores isn’t your cup of tea then Blast Off may simply bore you. The premise and execution of the game is designed for quick sessions and replaying the same level over and over. The layouts aren’t particularly varied and some of the missions feel similar thanks to a limited visual palette. Still the challenges that arise from each level are enough to keep you trying new strategies over and over again if you have that nature of gaming in your blood. For the low price of $2.99 you definitely get your money’s worth.

There really isn’t much else to say about the game other than it can become quite the addiction. As you can imagine these types of bite-sized games are perfect for the Minis program and I hope to see more of them in the future. If you enjoy chasing high scores and figuring out the path best suited to rescue your astronauts then you will siphon hours of enjoyment from this quirky title. Blast Off is a perfect addition to the Minis library, and one you should definitely check out if you have the measly three bucks to spare.

Ken McKown

Ken is the Editor-in-Chief of this hole in the wall and he loves to troll for the fun of it. He also enjoys long walks through Arkham Asylum and the cool air of Shadow Moses Island. His turn-ons include Mortal Kombat, Metal Gear Solid and StarCraft.