For all the rumpus surrounding 21st century control method; the Kinects, Moves, plastic guitars and sci-fi tablets, whac-a-mole remains my favourite “interactive” gaming experience, which might explain why I enjoy the Rock Band drums so much. It’s just whack-a-mole to a beat and as a concept, smashing things is fairly unbreakable.
Eggs in Space is whack-a-mole with eggs (in space). The hammer is your finger but if you’re feeling nostalgic it could very well be an actual hammer. You’re strapped into a spaceship and, gazing out in first person view, you tap the screen to smash the eggs that materialize out of the ether. But the eggs have their own twisted agenda and float toward your ship endeavouring to explode like inoffensive suicide bombers on the windscreen. Points are gained based on how quickly you tap the eggs and a life lost for any egg that completes its suicidal assault. Health items arrive sporadically in the form of food items that needs to be tapped to be stored but you rarely exceed more than 4 or 5 lives.
Simple enough but as the game progresses the eggs gain momentum and all the while the screen is littered with red eggs which have various negative influences should you tap one in the heat of battle. Bombs cause the screen to shudder while swirly patterned breakfast capsules cause it to rotate 360 degrees, which is vaguely nauseating. There’s also a death egg which reduces your life count by one. But this seems a touch cruel, there’s already plenty happening on screen and having to recover from a bomb or rotation is usually punishment enough.
Controls are as responsive as you’d expect for a game based entirely on tapping, although if you’re burdened with sausage fingers you’ll hide the small screen half the time. And while there are only two modes, both of which involve smashing eggs, there’s not a great deal more you can do with whack-a-mole. It’s great because breaking stuff is so cardinal, therapeutic even.
Occasional boss fights are about the only deviation away from the standard smash fest. Instead of instant-kill smashing, bosses require a bit of convincing to crack and they fling dirt your way. This also needs smashing.
A complete lack of in-game leaderboards is as much as you could hold against Eggs in Space. In its defence The Lonely Bee have thrown in a fairly detailed stats screen and there’s Game Centre support for those inclined to return for achievements. Game Centre also boasts its own leaderboards but in-game leaderboards seems like a strange omission for a score attack game.
There’s not really much else to say about Eggs in Space. It’s colourful, polished and charming and while its appeal survives only as long as your desire to smash eggs does, I can’t think of many iOS games that do the smashing part quite so emphatically.