Space Disorder (iPad)

Strap on your jetpack and get ready to blast off with Space Disorder, a new 2-D action game for iOS devices (iPad version reviewed here). Play as a heroic astronaut as you explore randomly generated space stations. Avoid dangerous lasers, rogue robots, and other obstacles as you collect items, power-ups, and coins, not to mention rescue lots of aliens!

In each world, you’ll zip through randomly generated rooms filled with obstacles and power-ups. Most of the really good power-ups and items will be behind locked doors and other barriers, so you won’t be able to get to them right away. When you finish or lose a level, you can go to a shop and spend the collected coins you’ve earned to buy more items to help you in the levels. These include shields for protection, grenades for blasting walls and barriers, and keys for unlocking metal doors and alien cages. You can also activate an item that reverses gravity, but I’m not sure what good that does other than making everything be upside down. Make sure to buy extra lives as they’ll come in handy, too.

At the end of each level, you’ll have the option to rescue an alien from a cage. But you’ll need to have a key first. If you do save the alien, it’ll be placed in your alien storage area in the menu. You can visit that area and give your alien gifts to make it happy (gifts are found in the levels). Sometimes, the alien will give you missions that can help you earn points for unlocking other goodies. The science fiction parodies in this game are hilarious. The aliens are spoofs of popular extra-terrestrials, I even found an alien that looked like ALF! And one of the costumes you can unlock is called “Bounty Huntress” and looks exactly like Samus’ suit from the Metroid games!

Unfortunately, that’s really the best part of the game. The touch screen controls are either too touchy or unresponsive when flying or walking. And considering you can only take one hit before you die, that can get very frustrating. Especially since, after you die, you have the start the world all over again. The space stations look all the same and are not that interesting to explore, and it gets tedious having to constantly buy items and lives in the shop.

Kid Factor:

Space Disorder isn’t rated by the ESRB, but I bet it would get an E for Everyone rating. When you get hit, your character just falls over, so it’s not that violent at all. Reading skill is helpful for the text instructions, and young gamers might get frustrated at the controls and difficulty.

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