Astronut for iPad review

Gravitationally gorgeous cosmic adventure Astronut comes to iPad

Same gorgeous gravitational Astronut action of the iPhone version, now in impressive iPad size.

Astronut for iPad is an interstellar treasure of a game. Created by the amazing Iconfactory, the talented team behind Twitterrific and Ramp Champ, the premise is as simple as it is fun. You ricochet through deep space, using the gravity of planets and other celestial bodies to slingshot you in just the right direction to avoid hostile aliens and inhospitable singularities, and collect shards and other rewards.

Initially released for the iPhone and iPod touch, the iPad version takes all of the fun of the original and splashes kicks it up to warp speed on the bigger, vaster iPad screen in full on Retina glory. What's more, if you already have the iPhone version, you can use it as a controller for the iPad version.

Play mechanics remain the same as the iPhone version. As your Astronut hurtles through the void, you can jump from one celestial body to another, and turbo charge your jump when your boost is available. Because the iPad is physically bigger than the iPhone, the controls have been repositioned. You hold the iPad in portrait mode and tap the virtual buttons on the side. Bonus levels can be controlled by tilting the iPad. (Or, as previously mentioned, you can also use the iPhone to control the action.) They're clear and consistent enough that, after a few tastefully inserted tips fly by in the early levels, you'll be all set.

Astronut boasts 6 sectors and 24 levels. Unlike the iPhone version where you can upgrade to the full version of Astronut via in-app purchase, the iPad version charges you up front and gives you all the levels right away. There are 40 challenging achievements to unlock, and full Game Center support so you can not only beat your friends, but let everyone know you beat them.

The design is gorgeous, as you might expect from an Iconfactory app. But Astronut is not just pixel pretty -- the sound design is fantastic as well.

If you liked Astronut on the iPhone, you'll love it on the big iPad screen. If you haven't tried Astronut yet, the iPad version is a great way to start.

The good

  • Looks great, sounds great, plays great
  • Casual but captivating
  • iPhone controllable

The bad

  • Settings are buried (I'm scrounging here.)

The bottom line

There are few things better in this world than native iOS games made by native iOS developers. From pixel to bit, Astronut for iPad captures every spark of awesome ignited by the iPhone original and translates it perfectly the iPad. I still can't tell you who'd win in a fight, a caveman or an astronaut, but I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that Astronut is all win.

$1.99 - Buy now

Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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