Mutant Storm, a visually stunning dual-stick shooter developed by Ninth Ninja and published by Crescent Moon Games, has just recently hit the app store. Featuring awesome neon visuals, frantic gameplay, and some of the tightest controls we’ve experienced, Mutant Storm is an impressive addition to any gamer’s collection.
Mutant Storm Pros:
- Gorgeous neon visuals running at 60 fps
- Soundtrack is action-oriented, sound effects are plentiful
- Controls are extremely tight and responsive, offering tremendous control
- Tons of levels, multiple game modes, variety of enemies
- GameCenter provides global leaderboards and a dozen achievements
Mutant Storm Cons:
- Can get repetitive and extremely difficult
Mutant Storm provides two game modes: Adventure and Tally. Adventure mode sees you playing levels in order, one after another, with only a couple of lives to spare. There are 89 levels in all, with unlockable checkpoints at every 10th level. At this point, you also earn one extra life and a smart bomb to be used at your discretion. Your goal is to use your customizable (color scheme and shape only) craft to blast away a variety of mutant beings in each arena without being shot or coming into contact with any of the little beasties. Early levels are simple, but the difficulty ramps up quite nicely before too long. The nice thing about hitting the checkpoints is that you can start at a more challenging point rather than continually subjecting yourself to the slower-paced opening levels once you’ve gotten the hang of them. Many levels have blockers that are destructible, but controlling your firepower and leaving them intact will earn a point bonus at level end. You’ll also earn time bonuses for completing levels before the relatively quick timer expires. Tally mode provides you access to the same 89 levels with the challenge of completing each in one-off fashion, earning as many points as possible without losing your only life. All of your best level scores are aggregated to create a cumulative score with which to challenge others on the leaderboards. There are 8 difficulty levels, represented by karate belt colors. Playing on higher difficulty levels will earn substantially more points than playing on easy levels. At the start, the first 4 difficulty levels are unlocked in Adventure mode, while all 8 are available in Tally mode. Hardcore players will love the sadistic black belt option, while casual gamers can enjoy the game from the safety of the yellow belt option.
Graphically, Mutant Storm has a vibrant and electric neon appearance, with lots of bright colors against dark backdrops and beautiful explosion effects. The frame rate is rock solid and buttery smooth, running at or near 60 fps regardless of the number of enemies chasing you down. Some destroyed enemies will produce offensive or defensive power-ups that can affect your firing pattern, unleash homing missiles, produce shields, or give you other temporary bonuses. Beware, though, as the blue defensive bonuses do not earn you any points while they are used. The soundtrack has a subdued, atmospheric quality with plenty of arcade-style sound effects to back up the on-screen action. The controls are stellar, offering some of the tightest dual-stick action we’ve come across. There are no actual sticks to use, allowing you to touch anywhere on the screen’s left side for your movement controls and anywhere on the screen’s right side to aim/fire. Tapping the screen’s right side with a second finger will elicit a smart bomb attack. Any enemies destroyed by a bomb will also not earn points. The “sticks” are self-centering, giving instant movement and feedback regardless of their “positioning.” We were very impressed with how well the whole package has come together.
Replay value is terrific, as practice will ultimately make you better equipped to handle the higher difficulty levels and rack up better scores. GameCenter provides global leaderboards for the 2 game modes, and there are nearly a dozen achievements to earn, too. An iPad-exclusive offering for $2.99, Mutant Storm is a wild 4.5-Dimple experience.
Mutant Storm Review,