Mr. Space Review

Mr. Space Review

Apr 4, 2011

Developer: PONOS
Price: US$1.40
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: Motorola Droid X

Ever feel like the walls are closing in on you, like you’re just running from space to space and trying to avoid being crushed? Well, now you can have that feeling everywhere you go, right on your Android device with Mr. Space.

Mr. Space is an extremely simple game. You play as the titular character, running back and forth between the floor and the ceiling of a stage, seeking out an uneven space between the two sections before they come crashing together. Each time you survive, you complete a stage, causing the two sections to reset and forcing you to look for another space to hide in. The more stages you survive, the higher your score.

As you progress through the game, it speeds up, giving you less time to get to each space. Making things even harder is that the actual depth of the spaces can become extremely difficult to judge. At first, you might think you have multiple spaces to fit into, but once the two sections come together, you find out too late that only one space had enough room. Fortunately, you start each game with 3 lives, so death is not quite the end, yet. Getting squashed results in watching helplessly as your character, now pressed neatly into a thin line, slowly drifts towards oblivion. That is, unless you have lives left, in which case you just pop back into your full 2-dimensions and start at a lower intensity level for a few stages, giving you a chance to get back up to speed.

The graphics in Mr. Space look pretty darn good, considering it’s nothing more than an animated stick figure and two planes that come together. The texture work on the top and bottom halves of the stage look very nice and detailed, and the animated background looks nice, but the art design isn’t very cohesive — it’s several disparate elements jammed together.

Why is Mr. Space, the character, a simple line drawing while the rest of the world is so detailed? I think it would have made a lot more sense if the art design had gone more towards a hand-drawn feel. Also, note how, the character emotes so well. His limbs spin wildly and he sweats when under stress. He makes other quick moves and even strikes poses when he has enough room. It’s an odd combination.

Where the critique of this game really counts, though, is the gameplay. It’s actually a lot of fun. And, once you’ve become accustomed to the level of intensity Mr. Space can bring, there isn’t a single situation you won’t be able to handle. First date? No sweat. Job interview? Not a problem. Meeting with the parole board? Handle it like a boss. Look out, world, here you come! Ten-feet tall and bulletproof. Capable of walking through a tiger cage with raw, bloody pieces of meat hanging from your neck, and still cool as cucumber. Or, maybe, not so much. At least you’ll have fun.


Mr. Space Review Rundown

6
Graphics/Sound - The graphics are a bit of a mishmash that don't make a lot of sense. Sure, they look pretty, but what pulls all the elements together? Aside from that, the music is suitably exciting while the "crunch" sound created when the floor and ceiling meet is just right.
10
Controls - The controls are perfect, just a simple back and forth with a number of options to suit your needs.
7
Gameplay - Simple, easy to learn with a difficulty that ramps up to become very intense.
5
Replay Value - You're either going to find it too simple to bother with after a few attempts or become hopelessly obsessed. Either way, it's great for killing a few minutes when you've got nothing else to do.
7
Overall - Saying this game is simple became redundant a long time ago, but it is what it is. It's also fun, and quite a challenge once it gets going. I found myself tapping away and really getting into it on more than one occasion. It's an all-around, fun game that just makes some weird decisions in the art department.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Demo version is also available on the Google Play Store »

Dale Culp
Dale Culp has been writing about video games in print and on the web for the better part of the last 10 years. From the Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360 and beyond, he's covered just about everything. You'll find his work in places such as TheWeekender.com, GoLackawanna.com, Gamesylvania.com, EscapistMagazine.com and even IGN.com
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