The Last Ace of Space is the epic story of a cat, his flying pig, and the big green slime that wants to eat them both. The atmosphere reminds me of what might happen if Don Bluth made an infinite running game. The action, however, is a far cry from the simple “tap to jump” that dominates most infinite run games. My only concern is that it might be a bit overwhelming for the particular genre it competes in. It is certainly unique for this style of game, but robs the genre of one of its compelling points – simplicity.
You take on the role of a cat in a space suit that for some inexplicable reason (mainly because they don’t tell you) finds itself on an alien planet trying to stay at a comfortable distance from the jaws of a big slime creature. The game takes care of the running for you. What you have to worry about is jumping, sliding, and generally taking out anything that wants to hurt you. There are “buttons” on both the lower left and lower right sides for jumping. There’s also a bar to use for sliding. After you use these controls enough, however, they will fade away. Either the developer thinks you’re used to them or they are just trying to make it more challenging. Either way, don’t count on them to always be there visually.
In addition to the typical jump and slide mechanics, there are also some creatures you have to zap with your trusty ray gun (tap on them), and others you have to knock out of the sky by popping their balloons (tap on them as well). There’s even a creature you have to knock away by flicking them. If you fall into a pit, the game is over. For everything else, if you end up running into a creature instead of getting rid of it, the slime will get closer to you. When the slime is actually on screen it’s time to step up your game, and to do so you must rapidly tap the screen on a pair of feet that appears. If you don’t get enough taps in quickly, the slime eats you and the game is over. If you are successful, your meter is reset and the slime is a comfortable distance away from you once again. There’s also a pig that follows you and will give you a temporary invincibility boost if it eats three beans, but I very rarely see any beans for it to eat.
So this all sounds well and good, and for the most part it’s actually a nice improvement from most infinite running games. However, when you get even 3 or 4 different things on the screen at the same time, it becomes nearly impossible to pull off all the necessary moves to come out unscathed. The worst is when the slime shows up and you have to try and execute moves right after defeating it and sending it back to the end of the line. These are really minor issues, but they do detract somewhat from the simplicity you might expect from this style of game play.
I love the look of Last Ace Of Space. It has an old school sci-fi serial feel to it, with the exception of the space cat, of course. The creatures are goofy, the slime is menacing in a “jello mold gone bad” sort of way, and the pig for some reason reminds me of The Great Gazoo from The Flintstones. The color palette give the visuals an overall appearance of something you might see in a late 60s / early 70s retro marathon.
Unfortunately, I’m not so keen on the sound effects. They aren’t terrible, but they are certainly easily forgettable. Sadly, the slime doesn’t even make a cool noise when it eats you. Fortunately, the music jumps right in and makes up for the lackluster noises. The 60s rock and roll track is fun and oddly enough seems to be a pretty good compliment to the atmosphere of the game.
Infinite running games have become as much of a “dime a dozen” prospect as jewel swapping games were not long after Bejeweled was released. Thankfully there are some that still manage to stand out from the pack, and this is one of those. Those looking for a simple tap to jump mechanism might get frustrated by the constant need to tap specific enemies and swipe to perform certain actions, but if you can keep everything straight it can be a rather rewarding experience.
|Title:||The Last Ace of Space||Developer:||Astro Crow, LLC|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.1.1||Min OS Req:||3.0|
|Price:||$0.99||App Size:||24.1 MB|