Spin Up mixes a lot of different influences into a fresh-feeling whole. It's got a bit of Donkey Kong's ladder-climbing DNA spliced with the infinite running of Canabalt, only the perpetual movement's vertical in this game. This may sound like a weird recipe but Spin Up hinges on a key difference that makes the game almost impossible to put down.
You're playing as an astronaut climbing up a space ladder to thwart the revolt of old technological creations that have been mutated into horrible monstrosities. Each section of the satellite gets represented as a concentric ring that rotates when you swipe left or right, and you'll need to deactivate alien computers in order to progress.
Tension mounts as you hang off of broken ladders that deteriorate underneath you and dodge creepy extraterrestrial cyborgs that are targeting you. You do get power-ups, though, like a bat that can kill monsters lurking a level above you and a jetpack that vauts you up several levels. Getting a jetpack and swooping up past those freaks feels incredibly good. I'll confess to flipping off the game's enemies each time I flew past them.
Spin Up's retro art style fits it goofy sci-fi set-up and there's also great self-aware snark in the way it brings you into the game, too, a la Sword & Sworcery. It's well worth the dollar you'll spend on it.
Spin Up [$0.99, iTunes]