Jasper’s Rocket: Meowing at the moon on Apple TV
Jasper, the Intrepid catstronaut rocket pilot stranded on a distant moon collects bananas for fuel at monkey-run lunar filling stations–meowtiful!
Jasper’s Rocket by Riada International is the sweetly silly story of a feline spaceship pilot stranded on a distant binary star gas giant’s moon. On a mission from CASA (Cat Aeronautics Space Administration?), lost in space, he must jet along the lunar surface collecting bananas to trade at monkey-manned gas stations. In addition there are flying saucers, hostile cannons, droid rescues and navigating a rocket to contend with. Jasper has a litter of tasks to complete in this endless flier scenario in hopes of eventual rescue. Actually he seems rather preoccupied in waving from the rocket porthole, so it’s up to you to help.
Seem rather ridiculous? Well, it is, but delightfully so. Jasper’s Rocket is a slower, more finesse oriented side-scrolling (forward AND back) experience than many endless fliers. Nevertheless, be ready for a chair clawing challenge to get the hang of it. Mastering the Siri controls–slide up for jets, press for shields and tilt for directional stability–sounds straightforward and simple. Admittedly though, I was yowling with fur balls before I got the gist–and it gets harder. Propel the rocket along with physics-based mechanics, collect coins for upgrades and bananas for fuel. Hovering is required for banana pickup and tricky filling station landings. Flying saucers and cannons destroy the rocket, so be ready to activate shields. You must land to rescue droids (they increase shields & fuel efficiency like upgrades) then drop them off at stations. Complete 3 varying goals and advance to the next of 40 total levels.
Once your’e through the whisker twitching training phase, Jasper’s Rocket is even more fun and addictive as catnip. Now you can enjoy the gameplay and aesthetic without tearing your fur out.
Jasper’s marooning moon has the consolation of being a wondrous world. Soft coloured graphics, procedurally generated terrain, dynamic day-to-night lighting and changing weather is an artwork style I so loved in our Alto’s Adventure review. This alien lunarscape’s heavens are lit by binary suns with the looming ringed gas giant in the background. Weather cycles conjure imaginings of liquid methane rain and plasma lightning over weird flora dotted pink deserts and blue mountains. The flow of this scenery is threaded together with an original ambient soundtrack, adding to the zen feel of gameplay.
Then suddenly a gas station appears with a monkey trading bananas for gas–hilarious. It’s as if the ominous UFO’s have abducted monkeys, bananas and droids and plonked them on this moon just for Jasper’s benefit.
There are many surprises and funny little details still in store for you so I’ll end this review here on a mewling note of praise.
Couch-Games only reviews games available for connected TV, and Jasper’s Rocket is that much better big-screen with Apple TV. Leading up to the holiday season 2016 you can download this weirdly delightful game free for a limited time. Meowtiful!