Review: Back To The Moon – An Endless Runner for iOS and Android

Review: Back To The Moon – An Endless Runner for iOS and Android

Platforms: Android, iOS

Game Name: Back To The Moon

Publisher: Adam 2D

Developer: Adam 2D

Genre: Endless Runner

Release Date: May 8, 2014

Back To the Moon – What We Think

Right off the bat Back To The Moon looks like it might emulate popular games in its genre, most notably Jetpack Joyride – that highly successful endless runner that offers players incentive to keep playing by giving them items that range from goofy to helpful. The mark of a good endless runner is to provide enough incentive or replay value. How does Back To The Moon fare?

Back To The Moon screenshot - green

You play as a old astronaut in a spacesuit and the goal is to avoid planets. You are constantly moving forward but have the ability to move up and down by tapping on the screen. Avoiding planets is not as simple, as each planet has its own gravitational pull, represented by a transparent throbbing putter ring. Once in a while, deadly asteroids will shoot from the right side of the screen giving you another thing to avoid.

You can only get hit once, and the goal is to pass as many planets as possible. It starts to ramp up when you pass 20 planets. You can, however, continue from where you were hit by using Diamoons.

Green Cheese

Diamoons are awarded by playing the game or by spending Diamoons; every time you spend Daimoons – typically it would be like 5 or more – you get 1 Diamoon as a rebate. You can buy more of them with real money or just until the game decides to give you some. During my time with the game, I found that they didn’t hand them out often enough. Diamoons could have been better implemented into the core gameplay, perhaps by making them an item you collect while spacewalking for your life…instead, they feel like a scarce item that is best obtainable through spending money. [We have been asked by members of the F2P movement to evaluate games based on their merits, with equal footing to other titles and not on their monetization scheme. OK then… -Ed]

Back To The Moon screenshot - diamoons

The layout of your journey to pass as many planets as possible seems randomly generated. The layouts are different every time you start over again. It’s nice that you don’t encounter a repetitious layout, but when pretty much all you’re encountering are planets and asteroids, it ends up feeling repetitious regardless.

Get My Drift

The controls feel great and responsive. Tap the top part of the screen to move up, tap the bottom part of the screen to move down. The game does a good job of showing you where to tap by displaying a visible line to guide you. It was a good design decision even if though it feels a little intrusive. It lets you know where to tap instead of the player learning the threshold of where they have to tap on the screen.

Back To The Moon screenshot - orange

The game’s cartoony art style is good, but generally unremarkable. At first glance it seems like it might be an odd game since the astronaut himself has a big head and large square glasses, but nothing else stands out or feels as distinct. Planets are colored with enough distinction that they don’t don’t blend into whatever the background color may be at the time. The backgrounds change from a normal space black to more vibrant colors like a purple or blue. It helps make it feel less repetitive, but only slightly.

Back To The App Store

Back to the moon fails to offer enough variety. The game gets old fast, and that’s a huge problem. After playing it for about an hour, I felt like I had seen everything. The game features Facebook and Twitter integration to help share your highscore with others, but that doesn’t provide enough incentive for you to keep playing. With so many endless runners out there that have more variety and more creativity, Back To The Moon is difficult to recommend. It would have been better off if it provided more gameplay mechanics or meta game hooks in order to provide a fun, compelling experience.