Developer: Binary Square, Inc.
Price: $0.99 Download on the App Store
Wow! Space Out by dedicated iPhone, iPod touch game developers Binary Square is harder than it looks. It could be the deceivingly simple 8-bit stylized graphics, or the fact that Space Out seems so familiar (it's a mash-up of Space Invaders and Breakout), but regardless of why...set a timer when you sit down to play or you're bound to lose hours trying to master Space Out.
Despite the difficulty of getting past the first level, I found Space Out to be almost instantly addictive. It's the idea that I should be able to beat this game that keeps me hitting the restart button! It starts like this...
The 8-bit spaceship rises over the horizon of a red planet and aliens begin to descend from the skies — a la Space Invaders. Double-tap to release your weapon. Your ball, aimed at the alien horde, will destroy everything in its path. Catch the ball as it returns your way and bounce it back up towards the invaders.
Miss the ball and it's game over — just like in Breakout. Don't get hit by the alien missiles either, or it's also lights out.
Throughout the game various power-ups will fall your way, catch as many as you can to release extra balls, turn on shields, or gain a "long paddle," "power ball" or "rebound ball."
I inevitably die within a few plays, far short of the current record holder Kerel Larsen who has achieved a High Score of 65,211 and recognition on the Binary Square web site. However, with practice the time between "restart" and "game over" is getting longer. This is a testament to the high replay value of Space Out. Sure, I'd like to defeat the alien horde — or even move beyond level one. But, regardless of my ability to succeed. I thoroughly enjoy playing Space Out again and again.
Binary Square has done an excellent job of bringing together a couple of video game classics to create a truly original game that can easily stand on its own. iPhone and iPod toucher gamers, prepare to be entertained.