In today's politically correct climate, describing a woman as a "chick" may not go over so well in certain circles, but apparently in an iOS world all bets are off. I personally don't see the word as a pejorative, and gamers really shouldn't take offense to this endless runner hybrid. Who doesn't want to save a damsel in distress by jumping from planet to planet?

Most endless runners consistently move forward, and this hyper speed momentum is one of the genre's biggest challenges. Space Chicks actually bends that expectation, giving us a runner that's physics based. The only command you'll need to know is to touch your device to jump as well as to navigate your space craft. With such a simple mechanic, no tutorial is necessary. The goal, which has you saving various women stranded on a planet and safely sending them off on their own rocket ship, is a no-frills directive.

With such simple construct as its backbone, Space Chicks excels at giving us top flight action each second of the way. Chivalrous gamers will jump at the chance to rescue women in space, while the randier sort will probably envision a different encounter with these ladies in zero gravity. Getting close to a lady does have its dangers, as various creatures, space mercenaries, and the aforementioned lack of oxygen will pull you in different directions. I may have found a chick to save, but unfortunately, a cannon blast is headed my direction.

Knowing when and how to use your jumps are integral to your Space Chicks success. For example, if you can leap off an asteroid with enough momentum, it may actually find its way to one of your enemies and squash them like bugs. Leaping with haphazard abandon almost always gets you killed, either by gunfire or bumping into your adversaries. Once you lose a life with a girl behind your back, both of you are immediately separated. Upon your next life, you will have to find her once again and lead her to the ship.

Kudos goes to the Space Chicks developers for not slathering their app with mandatory in-app purchases. Premiums are available, but you can have an excellent time with your $0.99 download. Many titles starving for revenue would have made earning extra lives a monumental struggle, forcing one's hand to purchase some kind of bundle. With this title, all you need to do is grab any hearts you see during your mission or while you're flying to your next destination. Unfortunately, my space ape's vehicle overshot the heart, but at least I have five lives remaining.

Along with being a good Samaritan, your job is also to collect as many gold coins as possible. Coins can also be earned by accomplishing various achievements, and your accrued currency will buy you power ups, new adventurers, and different space crafts. This app's upgrades feature is absolutely first rate, thanks to its extensive selection of choices. The developers' welcome sense of humor is also evident in their description of the objects. One of my first purchases was the chick hammer, which enables the lady you're helping to actually save your hide and beat up any enemies you run into.

Coop play is also available, and it's the perfect mode to use on your iPad. Under this version, you're competing against each other to be the studliest hero in the galaxy, with each participant controlling either the left or right hand side of the device. While this astronaut is ready to fly off on his mission, the space ape is still transfixed with kicking the basketball.

For under a dollar, you can buy an addicting endless runner filled with physics infused action. Leaping into dead space, with no inkling of what direction you're headed, is one of the app's more sublime facets. Even with ample coordination and timing skills, the zero gravity, as well as the influx of enemies waiting to take you out, makes Space Chicks a surprisingly challenging title. With its plethora of upgrades as well as co-op play, this game is much deeper than its cutesy title suggests. Saving a lady in peril is always a good thing, but don't be surprised if, in your spaciest moments, she's the one holding the hammer.


App Store Link: Space Chicks for iPhone & iPad | By Crescent Moon Games LLC. | Price: $0.99 | Version: 1.0 | 45.4 MB | Rating 9+

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