Max Astro Preview

If there’s anything an astronaut shouldn’t leave home without, it’s a rubber ducky. Well, that and an oxygen tank — just ask Max, the star of Execution Unit’s upcoming action puzzle debut. We took a preview build of Max Astro for a spin and one thing is for sure: it’s not quite like any falling block puzzler you’ve played before!

The gist is, your astronaut automatically moseys from one end of the screen to the other and it’s your job to keep the playing field as flat as possible. Max can jetpack over short columns in a pinch but this eats up his oxygen meter, which is already stressed by his need to breathe in an alien environment. It so happens the game’s blocks are actually solidified creatures, more of which continually parachute in. They’re color coded by weight, and you can use that to Max’s advantage — shift the lightweights out of the way by swiping the screen and let the heavyweights knock down the stacks. On the other hand, you can also purposely build and destroy block columns to pump up your score. Just take care that the block creatures don’t crush oxygen refills, bonuses, and Max’s prized rubber duckies!

Max Astro will release as a free Universal app on June 14. The free download will let players sample seven of thirty levels in the game’s story campaign, as well as two of seven Arcade levels that serve as a survival mode of sorts. The full game will unlock for $1.99. Check out Execution Unit’s website for more background on this London-based studio, and keep an eye on the game’s website and Twitter feed for the latest news.