From Angry Birds to Cut the Rope, physics games are to mobile what side-scrollers were to the NES. Cosmonauts kicks it old skool with its Tank-like physics combat, but adds enough attitude and variety to make it feel inspired.
As told in the scrolling comic panels, Cosmonauts takes place when the USSR hit outer space in the ‘60s. The historical deviation here is that the astronauts met aggressive aliens while abroad. You have to use your souped-up ship to take down these aliens, as well as space pirates and other unsavoury folk.
And like Tank, it’s all about the trajectory. You set your crosshair for the high point of your bullet and watch as it hits that zenith and curves back down – ideally smacking your opponent.Choose your weapon carefully
Cosmonauts would be stuck in the boring category without its interesting weapons, items, and game modes. First, the guns are pretty original, from Molotov cocktails that split into multiple flames to a space alien that will land on your opponent’s ship and literally beat it to pieces. Everything fits into the game’s cheeky atmosphere.
The random items in each level are cool, too, providing you with gravitational pulls, ice clouds, mines, and even throwing stars that make attacking much more complicated than just physics.
Finally, the single-player and multiplayer modes are handled well. Multiplayer can be played on one iOS device, or over wi-fi (the online multiplayer is still in beta, so we were okay with the occasional lag). Almost better than that is the Tactics mode that puts you into random situations and allows you to use weapons and items unlocked during the main storyline.Spacing out
At launch there are three zones available for Cosmonauts, with the first zone included for free. The lowest possible Apple transaction (69p / 99c) unlocks the remaining two. The freemium model can be stingy, but the price is worth it here.Cosmonauts is a simple, mildly addictive take on the physics-based tactical shooter. Gamers looking for a new twist on old skool combat should take a look.