Rocket Wars Review

Rocket Wars is a party game by publisher Rooftop Panda.   It looks like a throwback to Asteroids on the Atari 2600 with a multiplayer added.  The game is built for the fun of playing in the living room with multiple people.

Gameplay

The game has two different modes Free-For-All and Teams.  These two modes change the gameplay as you either work against each other or on teams to win the various matches.  Playing one player is so much different than when you have a group. You take on the role of a ship’s captain as you battle against other players or bots to be victorious by getting the most kills.  You can play in any of the 5 different types of matches. These range from Deathmatch, Survivor, Nuke King, Space Ball, and Free Play. Deathmatch is first to 10 kills wins. Survivor gives you five lives and you must be the last one alive.  Nuke King is simple: you must become the Nuke King and earn the most points by killing other players to win. Space Ball requires you to use a ball to hit the other player’s goal and destroy them. Free Play is open you just play for the fun of it with no points.  Playing alone the gameplay becomes repetitive as you float across the screen with only your thrusts to control your direction. It becomes more of luck of catching the right power-ups to destroy the computer player. The gameplay does become much better when you are playing against others.  This game was designed for fun as you play in the same room and talk smack as you destroy each other’s ships.

Controls

The game’s controls are very basic as you only use a few buttons to play.  ZL gives you Thrust which allows you to fly forward. B is the Shoot button which is your basic attack.  Y is the Special which controls your weapon pickups. A is the Pulse that controls your Shield and Melee attacks.  The final control is the Left Thumbstick that turns your ship from left to right and spins you around. Controls could be better as I found that turning your ship was more about using the thrust in the right way.  Using the thumbstick left me feeling like I was literally drifting in space without much control.

Features

The game has a Hanger in the main menu where you can choose your ship and style.  There are twelve different ships that you unlock as you play. Each ship has different positive and negative attributes that change the way you play.  Some ships have a higher fire rate or are easier to handle while having lower health and regeneration abilities. The game also has twelve different skins that do not have any effect on your ship other than to make it easier to identify on the screen.  There is also an options menu that allows you to control the audio of the games music and sound effects. The game options include Language, Bot Difficulty, Kill Feed, Screenshake, and HD Rumble. The Bot Difficulty allows you to play from easy to hard.  The Kill Feed allows you to see how many kills you have in the matches. Language, Screenshake, and HD Rumble are self-explanatory.

Music and Art

The art style is very basic as you are looking at the darkness of space.  This works however as your main focus is on your brightly colored ship. The game has a white glowing orb that you bounce off of as you float around in battle.  The various weapons that you can use change in the graphics to show their various differences. The music is techno space sounds as you play. This is fine for a single-player game but is better left shut off in a multiplayer game.

Final Thoughts

Rocket Wars is a single-player experience that was not much fun as I found the computer AI to be just at too high of difficulty even when set at easy.  Rocket Wars is a multiplayer experience that was like playing a totally different game. Playing with family and friends was a fun experience that left us all laughing talking smack and enjoying the one-liners that the game shared as you destroyed each other’s ships.

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