While the list of games from Windows Phone continues to be rather modest, some great titles have been available since the platform launched. One of these is Rocket Riot, an energetic omni-directional shooter taking place in a two-dimensional, 8-bit style gaming world, brought to life with modern graphics and just the tiniest hint of three dimensional depth.
Sure, it looks good, but it also plays well, and the soundtrack should also be experienced. Adapted from the original Xbox Live Arcade came, the Windows Phone version loses nothing of its original fun – if anything, it makes the game even more frantic by shrinking everything down to mobile phone proportions!
It’s Fast & It’s Furious
There are several gameplay modes in Rocket Riot as well as a trio of control options from which to choose. Your Windows Phone’s accelerometer can be used to control the game, as can your fingers, using either a virtual joystick or by tapping the display to direct your character.
It’s only when trying any of the gameplay modes that you get an idea of just how frantic Rocket Riot is. The most obvious place is the solo “Campaign” mode, in which you must complete 80 missions, each with different goals. Among the challenges found here you’ll encounter Rugby Riot in which your player will have to grab the ball and carry it over a goal, and Destroy the Object, a flag-style challenge in which the player must fight through the enemy to destroy one or more objects (both of these level styles are derived from gameplay modes in the XBLA version).
You’ll also find a Quick Play option and a Challenges mode which creates custom levels for yourself and friends on Xbox Live. A list of twelve achievements can be completed, amounting to 245 points.
It’s Blocky & Retro
Graphics that echo the 8-bit era are nothing new on mobile phones – even in 2010 they were becoming passé. However the way in which Rocket Riot uses the 8-bit style game design by far one of the best examples.
The main characters and enemies are easily identifiable, not because they’re blocky, but because they’re blocky and detailed. Meanwhile, the destructible landscape which often hides bonuses and can provide a shortcut to tracking down the enemy NPCs has the look of an archetypal 8-bit game.
By combining these graphical elements in the visual design of the game, the developers have hit upon a winning blend, which as addictive as the gameplay!
It Loads From a Tape (Not Really)
There are plenty of games (console, desktop and mobile) that have good soundtracks, but few have really great, memorable music that you can think back to while driving or drifting off to sleep. One of the main elements that make Rocket Riot a great game is the soundtrack – and you can even set it as a ringtone!
You’ll get first-hand experience of this when first starting a campaign. Here, the echoes of computing times past are brought to bear, with an amusing cassette tape-style loading screen, complete with the screech of audible data transfer!
This 80s-style tune, with plenty of modern-day disco effects thrown in for good measure, gives a really good retro feel to the game, something that is pretty vital to set the graphics in context.
It’s a Rocket Riot!
Of all the games you can find on Windows Phone, the one that embodies everything that is great about video games is Rocket Riot. Indeed, I would say that this one game alone has everything, from great design and graphics to easy-to-master, hard-to-win gameplay, excellent sound and enough depth to gameplay to keep bringing you back again and again.
New features added to the game since its initial release in 2010 have kept it fresh and fun, and of all the games that you should own on Windows Phone, this should be top of the list.
Developed by Codeglue, Rocket Riot is available for $4.99 or £2.29 in the UK and can be found in the Windows Phone Marketplace on your phone or through the website.
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