Rocket Blasters isn’t a complicated game, but what developer Schmidt Workshops delivers is a cute aesthetic wrapped in a tried and true, bite-size, shoot-em-up formula.
Let’s get Shooting!
Rocket Blasters doesn’t waste any time teaching you any of its mechanics, nor does it have really any story or narrative to speak of. But then again learning the mechanics takes almost no time at all. You can fly up and down, shoot the enemies, but don’t get shot yourself. Each level is only about a minute long, and there’s little difference between any of them, except for alternating between open space and a cave. Enemies you shoot will occasionally drop a random power-up, from gaining extra blasters to having a shield, to having an instant-kill laser that covers half the screen.
After every few levels there will also be a boss, charmingly named either the ‘Pizza Armada Battleship’ or the ‘Colossal Dreadnought’ they offer little in the way of challenge, and are more just a quick 30-second fight ended by simply mashing the fire button. Aiming for a high-score run is about all the game has to offer in terms of a goal after defeating the bosses, with an interesting mechanic that removes points for shooting to persuade you not to mash the fire button constantly.
Seeing everything the game has to offer and grabbing most of the achievements on the way shouldn’t take more than an extended coffee break. While being significantly cheaper than the coffee you might have drunk while playing it.
Just a bite of fun
Let’s be clear, what Rocket Blasters asks of you isn’t to have the frenetic fingers of some other shoot-em-ups like Ikaruga or Touhou, but rather to enjoy, if only briefly, a charming aesthetic. Using an art style where everything looks like it was drawn on graph paper with a ball-point pen, reminiscent of doodles on a high-school notebook.
It’s a lot like trying a new candy bar in the checkout aisle at the store, you bought it because it was shiny and it looked delicious. Whether or not it was even good, you at least got to treat yourself to something new, and at the price of one dollar you won’t be out much if you’re wrong.
Rocket Blasters is currently available on Steam