You've probably encountered launch games before, the sort of games where you propel some object or critter (like a hedgehog or a penguin, or even a person) for length and/or height. Shooting for distance is fun, but while there are many, many such games on the wild wild web, we here at Jay is Games do not often feature them. There are so many that it takes something special to stand out. Meteor Launch, wherein you play a Polynesian boy trying to send a sad-looking fallen star back home into space, is special, and stands out from many similar games.
Everything in the game is controlled with the mouse. Launching the meteor is done with but a click, ideally when your launcher is at its most extended for maximum thrust. You can control the path of the meteor with the mouse as well. At first, your launcher is wholly inadequate to send your space rock out of orbit, but you can purchase upgrades from a sort of masked Tahitian Edison, who will gladly sell you all sorts of sophisticated aerospace technology to aid in your mission, in exchange for glowing blue fireflies. This peculiar currency can be acquired by your meteor in flight, and the boy will also collect fireflies at night between launches. Launch, fly, avoid obstacles, and purchase upgrades, all to send your wayward extraterrestrial rock homebound.
Two things that make Meteor Launch unique among launch games: One, unlike many such games, where your launched object follows a random, Plinko-like path, Meteor Launch puts you in control. You control the direction of the meteor, and you control when to activate power-ups. It's a refreshing counter to the trend of littering launch screens with boosts and obstacles, so that you feel like the game is playing itself. Two, the story is quite charming. You might think that a tale of a Micronesian NASA would come across as goofy (Coconuts for fuel tanks! Palm fronds for aerodynamic fins!), but the concern the boy shows for his lost rock is sweet and affecting. I dare you not to smile when you finally send that fallen star back home to the sky.
It's short, not to difficult, and not a radical departure from the launch game genre, which is fine. I was occasionally frustrated when it seemed I was going too fast to anticipate oncoming obstacles, though that might have been a consequence of my lead-footed tendency to burn fuel until there was nothing left to burn. Some finesse might achieve better results. All in all, though, Meteor Launch is a cute, refreshing take on a familiar type of game.