Space Dock in Review – In space no one can hear you… CRASH

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The now legendary Flight Control ignited a revolution on the iPhone when it first arrived back in spring. Since then, a whole new generation of “Finger Tracing” games has been launched. Some have been straightforward rip-offs and others, original games that used the new control system as a tool rather as a complete formula for a game. Which one is Space Dock? Stay tuned, stay tuned, stay…

For those who’ve been living under a rock for the last six months, I’ll fill in a bit of detail. The control system I talked about above involves tapping an active object (a plane in case of Flight Control) and drag tracing a path for it to follow. And while extremely intuitive and easy to use it’s really not much to base a game on, at least when the novelty evaporates.

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Unfortunately, Space Dock did not stray far enough from it’s ancestor in regards to game-play. The objective of the game is to safely land ships, warping them in from all directions, and avoiding collisions. There are 4 types of ships as well as an uncontrollable UFO, and in turn, they ships are split in to 3 categories: yellow fighters/cruisers, blue Star Trek vessels and red rescue lifeboats. Now it starts to look a lot like Flight Control, doesn’t it?

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Well, Pixel Mine, Inc. did their best to throw some fresh ideas into the soup that is Space Dock. For one thing, there are the asteroids. Your space dock is equipped with an upgradable laser cannon that will destroy any asteroid that flies by, but you don’t control it manually. If the asteroid collides with a ship, both of them are destroyed and the poor pilot is ejected into space. These pilots may also collide with ships causing a game over so the smart thing to do would be to play fireman and guide the next red rescue boat to pick him up. You’re also awarded extra points for doing so, but I’m a sadist (not really) and would rather see them splatter on the windscreen. And the buggers are so freaking big that I was happy to see a passing UFO abduct one!

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What really makes you want to return to the game time and time again is the achievement system with online rankings. Achievements vary from simply landing any 10 ships, to crazy ones like zero landed ships within the first 60 seconds. Of course, my favourite is “Alien UFO Captures Pilot”. You are also ranked both by the number of landed ships and the number of ships on-screen.

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Space Dock really is just Flight Control, but in space with a spattering of features added to add commercial value for customers. You can speed the game the game up, and since the game will continue from where you left it, don’t worry about pressing the home button. I should note that Space Dock still has only one level and no multiplayer.

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In the end, the only reason I can think to get Space Dock is if you are a really REALLY die-hard Flight Control fan or if you haven’t managed to pick up FC yet. If the latter case, providing that you’re a sci-fi fan, Space Dock would be an choice for you. It is a solid game but the novelty value is zero.

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App Summary
Title:Space Dock (v1.0)Developer:Pixel Mine, Inc.
Price:$0.99App Size:11.5 MB
  • Solid achievement system with online rankings
  • Good rendition of Flight Control mechanics
  • UFO abductions
  • Only 1 level
  • Low novelty value
  • No manual cannon control

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