Hess Space Cruiser is an action/adventure game in space where as pilot of the space cruiser, you must dodge asteroids, collect coins and power-ups and head straight to the goal to hopefully receive a medal. Play in quick mode for some brief travels through the universe or choose the full game to browse through the levels and universes. The game is completely free and available for iPhone and iPad.
The game is in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary Edition Hess Toy Truck, which originated in 1964, so the brand is unsurprisingly sprinkled throughout. Your Hess coins you collect through the game add up over time to unlock new power-ups for your interplanetary vehicle. Some sounds that the latest truck makes are included in the game as well, which is a nice touch for users who are pairing their ownership of both the truck and the app.
If you choose a quick match, the truck launches your space cruiser into space where the game begins. The controls vary from swipes to taps. Swiping in any direction moves the cruiser in that direction temporarily to dodge an asteroid. Tilting the phone itself moves the vehicle just enough to maneuver slightly, but it's a very fluid and responsive motion.
There are also some basic power-ups that recharge every so often during the game. On the bottom right is a repulsor charge switch to eliminate surrounding obstacles for a few seconds and on the bottom left is a power booster to speed up. This could technically make it harder to avoid the asteroids, but if you want to get that gold metal, you need to reach the end goal as swiftly as possible.
If you go through the full version of the game, you get the privilege of being a bit more picky with how you play and what you play with. To do this, tap "Choose Universe" instead of the quick mode. Easily the coolest universe and perhaps most impressive in Hess Space Cruise is the "Your Space," which overlays the game on the rear-facing camera view for an augmented reality effect.
After you pick your universe, choose the difficulty - either easy, medium or hard - and even the ship. The default is the space cruiser but opting for the smaller "Scout" vehicle swaps out the repulsor charging power for teleportation.
When you collect enough Hess coins, trade them in for additional powerups like shield generators, repulsor charges, extra armor and more.
I didn't come in to playing Hess Space Cruiser with high expectations. I just assumed it was probably a gimmicky way to increase brand awareness for Hess and the toy trucks, but I was wrong. It's a pretty decent game. For what it is, the graphics are solid. Plus there aren't any in-app purchases, which is always refreshing.
Hess Space Cruiser is great for Hess Toy Truck owners, but even by itself it's more than capable of squeezing in your folder of time-killing apps. The game is free in the iOS App Store.