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For: Android   Also on: iPhone, iPad

One man's trash...

Product: Pollushot | Developer: Dumb and Fat | Publisher: YoYo Games | Format: Android | Genre: Arcade | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Pollushot Android, thumbnail 1
YoYo Games has been partaking in a bit of gaming alchemy.

After mixing a splash of shoot-'em-ups, with a dash of Breakout and a sprinkling of Angry Birds, it's come up with a game that hangs together remarkably well despite its conflicting elements.

Recycled elements

Pollushot sees you controlling a mobile slingshot, gradually moving up the screen in classic shoot-'em-up fashion. Enemies appear in waves, by type. You have to move your slingshot around to catch falling rubble, which you fire back at enemy ships' weak spots.

You control both the slingshot's movement and attacks with the same finger. One half of the gameplay involves weaving around and dodging enemies. The other half involves waiting for a break in the attacking pattern, tapping the slingshot to stop it moving, dragging the slingshot back, and releasing it to fire in that direction.

You might already be wondering how on earth this can work without major issues. The answer is, better than you might imagine. 

After an initial learning curve where you often stop the catapult dead by mistake, you eventually get to grips with this unusual device. Timing your stops and shots adds a certain frantic rhythm to proceedings, as you try to deal as much damage during your vulnerable still periods as you can.

Let's not do anything trash

Ammo is gathered from bits of enemy ships that fall off as you shoot them, and it's by collecting these pieces that you get multipliers and combos going, which in turn unlock levels.

What really brings the game to life is the variety of the enemies, which make you drastically change the approach to each wave.

Some work in specific patterns that you have to learn, while others move more randomly, invading your space and keeping you constantly on the move.

Most enemies have a weak point you can go for immediately, but generally it's a safer bet to try and take apart their cannons rather than going straight for the kill.

Likewise, some pieces of detritus make for more powerful projectiles than others, but catching the good pieces can often be a massive risk, forcing you to weave in and out of fire. Weighing up the risk against the reward is a constant consideration.

Not at all rubbish

Pollushot looks solid, with colourful enemies and hand-drawn backdrops blending together nicely without ever proving too much of a distraction.

With an OpenFeint high-score chart, and 37 in-game achievements to collect, it's a compulsive time-sink. Unfortunately, getting to the top of the high-score list can lead to a surprisingly long game time, which feels a little at odds with its mobile, arcade nature.

Despite this and some control issues, Pollushot should be applauded for blending different genres into something new, interesting, and thoroughly enjoyable.
Reviewer photo
Alan Martin | 11 October 2011
A challenging but addictive hybrid of classic game types, which despite itself holds together as a coherent game in its own right
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