I love a good oddball game. The kind of title that really makes you sit up and take notice. Something that pushes you off the ledge of boredom and into the land of “hunh, that looks interesting.” There are a few games in the App Store that give you such a nudge, but even so, it is rare to find something with quality and character. Could 1968 be one of these fabled games to reinvigorate your love of iOS gaming? Possibly. Let's see, shall we?

The actual year 1968 was the year of the moon landing and the clever iOS game of the same name expands on an old wive’s tale about the moon. Do you remember what your parents told you the moon was made of? Cheese. Well, the game 1968 takes this quite literally and not only treats you to some dairy-inspired lunar landscapes, but you also get to drive your own radio-controlled rover around the surface in search of cheese.

The setup for this game is wonderfully simple and tasks you with collecting all the pieces of cheese in each level before hitting the finish line. You have two things to control your exploration: your fingers and knowledge of physics. You’re given command of a little RC car to pilot around the landscape, making death-defying jumps and flips on your quest for the gouda. It is a fun little premise that is simple enough to be endearing, but leaves the game open to endless possibilities for level design.

1968 doesn’t disappoint in the level department. After the requisite tutorial levels, you’re thrust into some of the most ingenious and enjoyable areas. Everything is rendered in a beautifully-textured monochrome that evokes old cartoons from the era of the actual moon landing. It is the perfect example of graphics augmenting the gameplay, while also staying out of the way. There isn’t too much clutter; just the moonscape to explore and cheese to collect. The game introduces new features jealously, but it never overuses them to the point of annoyance. You can reverse gravity, bounce on your bumpers, and even have a springy bit of moon toss you up in the air. This helps to keep the gameplay fresh just as it is about to get monotonous.

The controls of 1968 are unbelievably simple: touch the right side of the screen to go right and touch the left to go left. But, when you’re in the air, they give you thrusters to rotate your car clockwise and counterclockwise. This all works well most of the time. Occasionally though, you’ll be going down a hill and the thrusters will engage and flip your car over as it reaches the bottom. This can be frustrating, but it is in no way game-breaking. In fact, it adds to the difficulty of the game just enough to be tolerated or overlooked.

The music to accompany your moon exploration is simple and upbeat and complements the design very well. Even though it is good, it does get a bit repetitive. More than one audio track would have been appreciated, especially after playing a lot of levels in a row. You might end up turning the sound off when playing for a long period of time.

1968 captures the mood of the 60’s well and is a quality title that you’ll spend hours enjoying. The controls are decent, it looks great, but more importantly, it is something different and interesting. It is enough to take the Swiffer Duster to the cobwebs on your iOS device and get you excited about gaming on your phone again. Let me put it this way: I enjoyed this game so much, I blew right through my deadline for this review because I was having too much fun. That, I think, speaks more than the rest of this little review.

Store Link: 1968 for iPhone & iPad | By Attribite AB | Price: Free | Version: 1.0 | 31 MB | Rating 4+

9.0 out of 10 arcade sushi rating