Pocket Starship‘s indie game Rotor is a 3rd person helicopter flight sim for the Xbox. If you enjoy games with a free form challenge game then Rotor is worth looking into. What may seem like a simplistic game is actually more addicting than I expected it to be. So lets get into this review, so you can see what it’s all about.
The game has three play modes; Arcade, 3 Minutes and 10 Minutes. In arcade mode you have 1 min and 30 seconds to begin with as you complete challenges you gain more time and the better you do during these challenges the more points you earn. So it’s important to not waste time between finishing one challenge and starting the next. In 3 Minute mode you have 3 minutes strait to earn as much points as you can by competing in challenges and earning points. In 10 Minute mode you have 10 minutes to do the same thing as in 3 minutes. So the game modes are very straight forward and your stats in all modes are recorded. In all three modes the timer won’t start running until you begin your first challenge.
The challenges in all modes are the same. You have 3 types of challenges to choose from. Check Point challenge puts a series of rings in place and you must fly through each ring in order attempting to get to the end of the challenge before a timer runs out. Another challenge is Flight Accuracy. This challenge really made me feel a bit pathetic. A starting line appears from where you started the challenge and runs a course through the city. You gain points during this challenge by staying as close to this line as you can for as long as you can as you zoom towards the end of the line. The last challenge was my favorite of three. Orb collecting is all about finding a certain number of orbs that appear in the city. They can be on top of buildings or between two buildings. It is definitely a little tough to actually find them all in time. In all challenge modes there is a short time limit to complete them, so you have to hurry once you begin a challenge.
The controls for the game are pretty easy to understand. Although it is really easy to loose control of the helicopter. I found myself smashing into buildings a lot after losing control while making a fast turn in a challenge. The Left stick controls your tilt left and right while the right stick controls your angle up or down. Your triggers and bumper buttons control your boost, dive, brake and thrust. The Y button is used when you manage to get the helicopter stuck. I wish I could say that the Y button isn’t needed often, but if you fly like me you’ll be using it fairly often.
As a few bonuses you can change the color palette of the city buildings. I liked this feature even though it was just changing the colors, but it definitely changes the feel a bit depending on the colors. Saddly, you have to pick from the selection provide to you of which there are many, but it would have been nice to have the option to pick the individual colors ourselves. Another bonus the game offers is a records section. Instead of a leader board this game has a stat board that keeps track of your top scores in the 3 different modes as well as your avg score in those modes.It keeps track of your best scores in each of the challenge modes and how many times you attempted them. The records also keeps track of a number of other statistics which is pretty cool.
The big downsides to this game is that it is a single player game only. You won’t be sharing your scores with your friends or competing against other Xbox player’s scores. Another thing is that the city is always the same design, it is a nice design and layout though. Last of all is something I’ve already mentioned. It is pretty easy to get yourself stuck on the map, which does eat up precious time you need for the challenges.
Overall I give this game a 3 out of 5. It is a fun and casual game. If you don’t like flight simulators or games that don’t involve blowing something up, you probably won’t enjoy this.