Parents' Guide to

Space Cycler

By Christy Matte, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Simple shooter has frustrating controls, no help.

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There's chaotic entertainment value in this shooter, but the visually confusing controls and lack of tutorial or help may sap all the fun. Space Cycler is a nod to arcade games of the past, but it brings along some of the challenges they faced as well. The biggest issue is that there's a straight slider to control circular ship movement. It creates a visual disconnect that results in players sliding their fingers all over the screen and often right off the control area. This is compounded in multiplayer where they can actually take control over each other's ships entirely by accident.

The levels feel long and there's no way to save mid-level. For a casual game, that's a challenge as it limits some of the pick-up play you'd expect in the genre. And lastly, there's no description of the power-ups and upgrades. Long-time gamers will likely be able to guess at some of them, but without some trial and error, they may just remain a mystery. Despite the drawbacks, it's great to have a two-player game that can be enjoyed on a shared device and the lack of in-app purchases is refreshing. Space Cycler has potential, but it needs a bit more polish to hit the mark.

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