Take to the skies (and plummet to the ground) with Rocket Fox

Rocket Fox is a new iOS release from Namco Bandai. The game is an accelerometer-based action puzzler that casts players in the role of a rocket-propelled Japanese fox tasked with setting off all the “flowerockets” in a level. A limited version is available as a free download now via the App Store, with the full version unlockable via in-app purchase.

Each level of Rocket Fox sees our heroic fox launching himself into the sky, and it is then up to the player to ensure he lands safely on each of the other flower-launching rockets that adorn the level, which in turn launches him back into the sky. Differently-colored flowers launch the fox to different heights, and certain levels require that the flowerockets be fired off in a specific order. There are also a variety of other level objectives that reveal themselves over the course of the game, keeping gameplay fun and fresh. As the game proceeds, players will find themselves doing everything from destroying tanks to flying through hoops and landing on large “finale” flowers.

The game is controlled mostly through the iPhone accelerometer — players tilt the device to direct the fox’s ascent and descent in an attempt to land accurately. There is also a “quick drop” button in the corner of the screen, causing the fox to rapidly plummet to earth. This is essential to completing levels quickly and scoring the maximum possible rating, as the game is demanding and challenging — but fair — from the very beginning.

The game makes use of an attractive “cel-shaded” aesthetic that looks particularly good on high-resolution Retina displays. The frame rate is smooth, and the clear visuals help easily distinguish “mission critical” objects such as the flowers from the backdrop. The sound is also good quality and unobtrusive, giving the player ample feedback on their progress as they hop from flower to flower.

The game monetizes in two main ways: the fact that the full game is “locked” until it has been acquired via in-app purchase, and sales of in-game currency. The latter may also be earned through play, and is used to unlock various customization options. The fox hero may be dressed in a variety of amusing outfits, and new particle, burst and color effects may be unlocked for the fireworks that are set off when landing on a flower.

 

Rocket Fox is a great example of a top-quality, well-produced iOS game, and it offers a generous amount of content to free players before asking them to hand over the $1.99 for the full game. The items purchased using in-game currency are mostly optional and cosmetic, though on failing a level players also have the opportunity to purchase several different powerups to make their next attempt easier.

Rocket Fox is currently No. 135 in Top Free iPad Apps, No. 111 in Top Free Games and No. 51 in Top Free iPad Games. The game is currently enjoying a feature spot on the App Store as well as a “New and Noteworthy” listing, so it’s likely that it will make strong progress in the immediate future. You can follow its journey through the App Store charts with AppData, our tracking service for iOS and social games and developers.