Astronut: Intergalactic Iconfactory Goodness

Looking for a new adventure to keep your iPhone or iPod Touch fun?  Look no further than Iconfactory’s Astronut.  While this game isn’t an absolute newcomer to the App Store, it’s such a fun and unique game that we couldn’t pass it up

Iconfactory has a long history of popular Mac and iOS apps, including IconBuilder, CandyBar, Ramp Champ, and more.  Astronut, their latest app, is a surprisingly fun arcade-style game that takes the genre to a whole new level.  In this game, you guide your astronut through a universe full of dangerous planets, aliens, and more by jumping from planet to planet.  Best of all, it’s free for the first 4 levels!  Let’s dive in and take a look at this game before you head over to the App Store to install it!

Jump Into Astronut

Ready to get started?  Once you’ve downloaded the free app, you can dive in and get started exploring the universe Iconfactory created.  The astronut icon on the initial launch screen is gorgeous, and the whole game is filled with similarly detailed graphical touches that make it a joy to play.

Welcome to Iconfactory's cosmic universe!

While Astronut is free, it only includes the first sector with 4 levels; the remaining 20 levels are available with a $1.99 in app upgrade.  But there’s no need to buy it immediately.

Tap Inner Ring to get started on the first levels.  Astronut is very simple to play.  Your goal is to hop from planet to planet up to the top of the game to complete a level.  Just tap the Jump button on the bottom right to jump, and press the left Boost button if you find your astronut drifting through space without enough inertia or gravity pull to get him to the next planet.

There's only one sector to select in the free version, but it includes 4 levels.

The simple gameplay quickly becomes more challenging with faster spinning planets, enemies, and more.  Some planets and other items, such as the black holes, let you land on them temporally, but they will kill you if you wait too long.  Actually, the black hole will start shrinking your astronut if you don’t jump away quick enough.  You’ll need to be creative in jumping at times, and it’s definitely a good practice to use inertia and spinning objects to get you where you need to be!

You’ll lose health when you hit an enemy, and can collect pink health shards to boost your vitality.  You’ll also see blue shards that you can collect to access bonus missions.  With all the jumping and collecting, it’ll remind you of older arcade games like Mario.  The new touches and fluid interface, though, make it so much different that it almost feels like a new category of game, one that was designed specifically for iOS.

Planets and aliens and black holes, oh my!

If you collect all of the four blue star shards in a level, you’ll get to collect extra points in a bonus mission.  Here, instead of jumping between planets, you’ll need to tilt your device and guide your astronut in a rocket with your iPhone accelerometer.  This provides a fun break from planet hopping and avoiding enemies, dangerous planets, and more.  It’s also lets you grab some extra health shards to keep you playing longer on the next level.

The bonus missions are a great switch from planet jumping!

Conquering the Entire Universe

Eventually, though, all good things must come to an end.  Astronut only includes the first sector with 4 levels for free, so once you’ve finished them you’ll need to purchase the remaining 5 sectors with 20 more challenging levels with an in app upgrade.  The good thing is, the included free levels are great fun on their own, and if you really like Astronut, the upgrade is only $1.99.  If you choose to purchase it, seconds later you can be continuing on to the next level in the 2nd sector.

In app upgrades make purchasing more levels almost too easy...

Each sector has a different overall theme color, and one fun thing is that your Astronut home screen will change colors to match the level you’re currently playing.  You’ll discover new challenges such as disappearing planets, poisonous and spiky planets, pirate aliens that suck you off your planet, and more.  Each level has enough uniqueness to make it fun to keep playing, so even after you’ve conquered every sector you can still go back and rack up more achievements while still enjoying Astronut.

Hidden planets, spiky planets ... you'll be grateful for peaceful earth soon!

Getting Help and Awards

Astronut does a great job at guiding you through the game with the first 4 levels, so you’ll likely figure everything out without looking at the help screen.  Iconfactory didn’t skimp on the help, however, so you still may find it fun to flip through their description of the game and the challenges it includes.  Just tap the Guide button on the Astronut main screen to access it.  You can also turn off the in-game music and sound effect here if you wish.

Find out all the inside info about the Astronut universe

Plus, it’s no fun playing games if you can’t show off your newfound skills to your friends.  Astronut lets you broadcast your high scores and achievements to Twitter or Facebook, and it can automatically add your scores to Game Center if you’ve created an account.  There’s over 3 dozen achievements in the game, more than enough to keep anyone occupied for way too long.

There's even a Fanboy achievement for looking at the About screen...

Conclusion

With its beautiful design and fluid gameplay, Astronut takes a linear arcade game type game to a whole new level.  It’s a simple yet challenging game that’s great for killing 5 minutes, but can easily engross you for an hour, too.

Iconfactory definitely has another winner on its hands with Astronut!  If you haven’t already tried it out, make sure to download the free version and try out the included levels at least.  It’s one of the more unique and fun games we’ve discovered in the App Store, and it’s refreshing to see such original games come out!


Summary

Astronut is an arcade-style game that challenges you to jump between planets to explore the galaxy while avoiding enemies and collecting points. Explore 4 levels in the first sector for free, then upgrade in-app to unlock the remaining 5 sectors for 20 more levels.

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