Rocks N' Rockets Review
Posted by Marcel van Duyn
Most people are familiar with arcade classic Missile Command. In it, you control a bunch of anti-air batteries and have to shoot down the incoming enemies before they manage to destroy all of your cities. Rocks N' Rockets can pretty much be considered a revival of sorts of that game, although it does add a few unique twists of its own.
Not much is different about the very basics of the gameplay. You control a missile turret in the middle of a city, and have to use it to shoot down incoming meteors before they hit and destroy too many buildings. To do this you simply tap anywhere on the touch screen to fire a missile, which will explode exactly where you tapped. Yes, they don't explode on contact, so don't be smart and think you can aim past meteors to hit them anyway — it won't happen.
This simple strategy will get you past the very first stage, but you're gonna need a bit more tactical prowess to get further. This is because the meteors in the first stage where ice meteors, and your default missiles are fiery ones — starting from stage 2, you'll also be attacked by fiery meteors which require an ice missile to destroy. This can be fired by holding either shoulder button and tapping like normal.
Be aware, however, that the explosion of a missile can hit meteors you didn't intend for it to hit; if you hit a meteor with the wrong missile, you'll find that it increases in size and will require two more correct missiles to take out. If you actually manage to hit a meteor with the wrong missile type twice, it'll split into three small meteors, making your job even harder. If things get too rough, you can use the Up or X button to launch a nuke that destroys everything, but you only have a very small supply of those.
Not too long after fire meteors are introduced, you'll start to encounter all sorts of other stuff. Aside from space debris, which can be hit with any missiles, you'll come across special flashing meteors that can only be hit during a specific timeframe, a meteor type that must be hit with either missile and then again with the one you didn't use and the usual floating powerups that temporarily give you much improved missiles when hit.
On top of having to use the right missiles on the right meteors, you also have to be careful with firing too many of them; you've only got a limited stock of both of them, so you should try to make as many as you can count.
Rocks N' Rockets offers two modes of play. Arcade sees you going through a whole bunch of levels, each increasingly more difficult, until you eventually clear them all or lose. This mode will frequently save, so you can stop and continue later from various points. In Marathon you simply try to keep playing one increasingly harder single stage until you lose.
The game is pretty average in the graphics and sound departments. Nothing flashy goes on and the missile explosions even look a bit cheaply done, while the music is a fairly unmemorable, basic tune that repeats a lot. It's fairly low-key, however, so you won't really become bothered by it.
Overall, Rocks 'n Rockets is a fairly enjoyable little game that may give you flashbacks of Missile Command. The main mode is fairly lengthy, with new stuff constantly keeping it fresh, and once you finish it, you can pull some more enjoyment out of trying to set high scores in the marathon mode.