Part of the Indie Games Winter Uprising, “Asteroids Do Concern Me” has arrived. ADCM is a very simple game; avoid asteroids… prevent death. Yep, pretty much you just need to avoid the asteroids for as long as possible to rack up a nice fat score. To make things even simpler, the game only has one button that makes you ascend. Gravity will do its job and make you descend while you don’t have your thrusters engaged. While the premise is simple, actually being able to obtain a respectable score is a different story.
Asteroids are generated dynamically so there is a different experience every time you play. This also means there are no patterns for you to master; you will need to rely on good old hand eye coordination and reflexes. There is a tad bit of physics in the game when using your thrusters. When you first engage your thrusters, your ascent begins slowly and progressively speeds up as you continue to hold down the button. Same thing when it comes to falling; descent begins slow and progressively gets faster. This adds the majority of the challenge to the game because most of your crashes will be due to you misjudging when to engage or disengage thrusters.
Your score is determined by how long you survive in the asteroid field. As soon as you start, the score counter begins. As you make your way through the field you will come across orbs. These orbs will multiply your score by .25 per orb that you collect. The high the multiplier, the faster your score counter will run. Orbs will probably be the second most reason you crash. Greed will make you think you can get that orb and dodge the asteroid, but that likely won’t be the case. There are six difficulty levels. With each difficulty level you will start with a higher multiplier; it will be easier to rack up a score but harder to survive. I really didn’t notice an increase in asteroids, but I did notice an increase in speed.
There are four game modes to choose from. Classic is the main game where you need to dodge asteroids while collecting orbs to get a good score. Retro mode gives you something that looks like an old DOS type game. In Retro mode the asteroids move up and down. Double Rainbow mode is very colorful and kind of weird. The background is bright and consists of a sun and sun beams; the smoke that usually comes out of your ship turns into bubbles, stars, and colored circles; and asteroids are replaced with various different objects such as hippies, fists with wings, bees, and groups of bubbles. Honestly, I found this the hardest mode to play because it’s the most distracting and objects move up and down WHILE coming at you. Notebook mode is pretty much the same as classic mode but it looks like it was drawn in a school notebook.
Overall, I think ADCM was well done; especially for the price ($1). It’s fun and it’s one of those games that can start playing and then instantly time warp to an hour or so later. It’s something that you can jump in quickly if you want to play something but only have a limited time or perhaps play while having a phone conversation. Right now scoreboards are local, but within a few weeks we should see online scoreboards which I think will really kick up the appeal. There is also a round based multiplayer for up to four people to grab top score. For $1 you really can’t beat the value. I recommend picking it up; I really can’t see how you wouldn’t have some fun with this game.