Colossatron: Massive World Threat, a match-based action game from Halfbrick Studios, is now available from the app store. Featuring simple controls, a variety of weaponry, and a bit of strategy, Colossatron overcomes its minor flaws to offer a frantic yet charming experience.
Colossatron: Massive World Threat Pros:
- Fast-paced action and wanton destruction
- Polished visuals with lots of colors and explosions; smooth framerate
- Controls require dragging cores to and from Colossatron and tap-holding to direct movement
- Soundtrack and sound effects are well-produced; news report presentation is fun and clever
- Story and Survival modes
- GameCenter integration for leaderboards
Colossatron: Massive World Threat Cons:
- Very little controls over Colossatron’s movements
- Can be tough to tell colors/core levels apart during heavy action
Colossatron is a gigantic mechanized snake-like creature from outer space bent on complete destruction of our major cities without regard for human life. General Moustache and his army of heavy machinery lead the resistance and do their best to stop the massive space snake. Oddly enough, you are tasked with assisting Colossatron rather than the human population. You do so by dragging red, yellow, and blue power cores that appear around the screen onto Colossatron’s segmented body. Three consecutive power cores of the same color will combine to form a single segment of even greater power. Placing two differing primary color cores adjacent to one another will cause them to transform into the proper secondary color (green, orange, or purple). Each of the six colors performs a unique attack/task, such as spread shots, lightning attacks, pulse firing, attack drones, proximity repairs, and more. The occasional shield unit or prism also appears during the course of play. Shields offer protection for nearby cores, while prisms act as a secondary form of currency that allows you to bestow permanent availability upon selected weapons and enhance your armor in the armory. Otherwise, the weapons assigned to each individual color will randomly change every 24 hours.
The goal of each level can vary, from destroying specific battle units to running up a predetermined monetary amount of damage. When Colossatron’s segments take too much damage, the affected cores will explode. It would behoove you to drag these cores off of Colossatron and position them among the military units to avoid damage to other cores and wipe out the opposition. If all of Colossatron’s cores are destroyed, your run ends. Each of the seven locations has four cities that act as levels, with the capital as the final level. If Colossatron is defeated prior to completion of the capital, you’ll either need to restart the entire location or you can spend a few prisms to reassemble the snake and force completion of that particular level. The total damage amount is awarded to Colossatron at the end of each level or attempt. You can use this money to repair all cores, power up your units, purchase individual cores, and reorganize your cores before starting the next level. Gameplay is frantic and fun, with lots of action on-screen and tons of explosive power. The game’s biggest drawback, at least for us, is that you have very little direct control over Colossatron’s action. It pretty much wends its way around as it sees fit. You can spend prisms on gadgets that allow you momentary and sporadic control over the space snake, such as tap-holding the screen to force a lunge maneuver, a power that is rechargeable and can only be used every 10 seconds or so. This helps to mitigate this a bit, but we expected a little more direct control than we are given. Additionally, there is so much happening on-screen that it can be difficult to tell some colors/core levels apart and easy to miss a core that’s about to explode.
Graphically, Colossatron has an appealing art style with lots of colors and polished visuals. The cores show nice detail and they even incorporate an icon on each that indicates its power. Damaged cores show their wear in subtle ways that you can appreciate when you have a good look at the snake between cities, but you really can’t tell how damaged each core is during gameplay. It’s hard to know when spending money on a repair perk is a good idea or an unnecessary expenditure. The entire experience plays out in the context of a news report, with a top-down helicopter-based viewpoint of the action and newscaster chatter overlaying the action. It’s a clever presentation choice, but it can get a little irritating after a while, as you cannot really skip past those parts to get to the game faster. The animations are very smooth and everything runs at a nice clip, with no hiccups even when things get crazy. The soundtrack is powerful and menacing, while the voice work and sound effects are well-produced. Controls require you to drag cores where you want them and tap-hold where you want Colossatron to strike. Occasionally, a dragged core wouldn’t connect on the first attempt, but everything worked as advertised for the most part. Even tap-holding prior to activation of the strike power would call up a timer that informed the gamer of how many seconds remained before you could use the power again. Overall, it’s a very positive experience.
Replay value is good, as the prospect of taking down the military and destroying cities with a giant mechanized robosnake is a fun one. You can grind levels for money and collect prisms slowly to unlock a nice collection of weapons. Any defeated location unlocks a Survival mode for added fun. GameCenter integration also offers leaderboards for each of the seven locations, so honing your strategy and causing wanton destruction can be quantified and compared to other gamers. A universal app for $0.99, Colossatron: Massive World Threat is an action-packed 4-Dimple game.
Colossatron: Massive World Threat Review,