For a mobile game, the concept for UPO isn’t particularly new. It is essentially a point and click adventure where you must avoid obstacles and collect things along the way. However, what makes this game fun is the little aliens and funky theme tune. You start the game up and you are greeted with a colourful screen. For the tutorial, all that is offered is an animated finger pointing from one planet to the next showing you what to do behind the character select screen. There could be a little more information regarding what you will encounter, but to be honest, after a few tries it isn’t difficult to pick up.
First you need to pick your alien character, there are five to choose from, each with a different spaceship with different abilities, for example, some are quicker while others stick to the planets better. Once chosen you are off. You click on the planets and the spaceship follows your path. After a couple of seconds’ other alien friends start turning up on the planets and this is when the aim of the game becomes clear. You have to collect, or save, as many of these stranded aliens as you can while you navigate through the systems avoiding the asteroids which start to fall around you.
Interspersed amongst the purple asteroids are other alien creatures floating around. These give you different abilities. For example, one makes your ship magnetic so all the stranded aliens zoom towards you making it easier to collect them, another blows up all the asteroids nearby making your journey much safer. This is one of the aspects of the game which could have done with a little explanation, as up to a certain point you could think you are meant to be avoiding those as well.
The game screen scrolls downwards as you play meaning that you have move, not just sit on a planet and wait for things to pass you by. There is an element of strategy in the game, where you must plan your route through the asteroids to ensure everyone is collected and taken to safety. The addition of alien angels that rise from the bottom of the screen if one is missed is more than enough motivation to make sure you get them all on the next round.
One thing which I never quite figured out was how many time you could hit an asteroid before game over. There were some instances where it was one hit and out, but on several occasions, I could hit the spaceship more than once before being told I had to restart. I feel it is something to with how you hit the asteroid and where rather than the number of times. The downside to this game is how, like many mobile games, it can get a little tedious after playing a while due to its similar gameplay throughout. Yes, there are obstacles and you always want to beat your previous high score, but you still achieve this in the same way with the only variation being the use of a different flying saucer. Also, those dreaded in-game purchases. However, unlike some games, this one is playable without having to spend any real money and you do accumulate in-game currency, albeit rather slowly.
UPO is a solid little mobile game, the premise is simple enough but it can still be challenging. The lack of a tutorial and explanation of the game could annoy some, but it isn’t a difficult game to get the hang of. The catchy soundtrack will get you tapping along to the rhythm and the colourful animations keep it cheerful. It can lose its charm after a while, but it is still a game that you will go back to time again.
UPO is available on both Android and Apple devices and the review code was given to us by @BonstersHQ