Each section of Atomic Super Lander actually leaves me wanting more, and it would be easy to see a full game developed out of each of those parts.
The opening tutorial that has players learning the mechanics of the 2D platforming section left me wishing for a fully playable version of this alone, with the developer nailing the physics of propelling yourself around the training facility in low-gravity.
Landing your rocket on the comet increases with difficulty after each successful run, with obstacles such as meteors and satellites gradually added. Once close enough to the surface for gravity to start sucking you in, you’ll need to spin your rocket around and start slowing your decent, SpaceX-style, being sure to compensate for the comet’s spin in order to stick your landing. The process is a nice balancing act of difficulty – not too hard, not too easy.
Once on deck, you’ll have a short few minutes to find the comet’s weak spot at which to plant your explosives, all the while encountering alien crabs, laser-toting spacemen, geysers and more. Combat is a simple affair of just punching your way out of trouble, and there are pickups to aid you on your way. It’s urgent, edge-of-your-seat gaming, seeing the clock running down the whole time, but the platforming is so nicely executed that again it left me wishing for more time to just explore and enjoy this 2D section, which is the main meal of the game.
Each run gives you three lives – a great nod to gaming’s past – and the idea is to see how many successful loops you can complete with them. The ever popular mechanic of collectible cards helps to fuel the desire for one more run, and a wicked sense of humour will keep you smiling while you do so.
Published by Crescent Moon Games and developed by bitWeird, Atomic Super Lander is a great little game to pick up if you’re after some furious, snack-sized arcade action on your Apple TV, with very well implemented controller support.
In a Nutshell:
The sum of Atomic Super Lander’s parts add up to an urgent, arcade gameplay loop of retro goodness. It’ll leave you wishing for a sequel that fleshes out each of those parts though.