Space.... the final frontier...for those who seek to launch satellites into various celestial objects there's a Windows Phone app for that. Satalaunch is a Windows Phone 7 game that challenges you to launch "Astro" ,your satellite, into moons, planets and stars. Along the way you'll make use of planetary and solar gravity fields, as well as on-board thrusters to guide Astro into your targets.
The game has thirty-eight levels divided between three stages. Satalaunch is an interesting Windows Phone game and to learn more, drift on past the break.
From the depths of space
Satalaunch is a shooter game of sorts where you launch your satellites from an space station. At the start of each level, you're given objectives and hints on how to succeed. Your target will have a glowing ring around it.
Scoring, a reset and settings button, and satellite speeds are displayed at the top of the screen.
Up/Down arrows appear behind your space station to aim your satellite with. To launch your satellite, simply touch your space station and slide backwards. The further you slide back, the more power is applied to launching your satellite. A white line will appear to help you gauge the power. Whey you've got your aim and power set, release your hold on the screen.
If you fail the level, you have the option to retry the level. If you retry, a blue line appears indicating the aim and power of your last shot. This helps you adjust things for your next try.
While this sounds simple, not every shot is straight forward. Some levels have red stars that have to be hit as your satellite sails towards it's target. Other levels require you to use planetary or solar gravity fields to steer your satellite around obstacles. You'll also face some levels that allow you to use the satellite's on-board thrusters to maneuver about.
To control the satellite's thrusters, a virtual joystick will appear at the bottom right of the screen. Next to the joystick, you'll find the fuel levels for the thrusters. The joystick is nicely responsive and it does take a bit of skill to manage fuel and power to compensate for gravity fields.
The playing field is touch zoomable and you can orbit your satellite around the field as long as it doesn't stray too far off screen.
Satalaunch is an interesting and challenging game. While each level became more challenging, they weren't too difficult to consider impossible. Sound effects and graphics are nicely done. The game ran smoothly but I did have one experience where the "play" button was non-responsive which required me to exit and re-start the game.
Satalaunch would be a nice addition to your Windows Phone gaming library and to make the game more attractive, it's free. You can download your copy of Satalaunch here (opens Zune) at the Marketplace.
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