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Megastunt Mayhem

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone, Xperia Play

Return of Bigfoot

Product: Megastunt Mayhem | Developer: Level Eight | Format: iPad | Genre: Arcade, Racing | Players: 1 | Version: US
Megastunt Mayhem iPad, thumbnail 1
If you were around in the ‘80s, you probably remember huge monster trucks like Bigfoot.

Organisers would fill an open-air stadium with empty cars and abandoned school buses and spectators would pay to watch Bigfoot's merciless mile-high wheels smash them into smithereens.

Megastunt Mayhem draws on that golden age of monster trucks with satisfying yet simple results.

Crush ‘em!

In each round, your truck must complete a certain task or two to master the stadium. Performing tricks, completing goals early, and - yes! - smashing stuff rewards you a higher ranking and more dough to soup up your truck between stages.

The gentle training rounds teach you the basic controls: tilt or touch to steer, tap the gas and brake icons to move.

In addition, you can flick the truck over in a certain direction to trick out - for instance, sliding upwards on the truck will make it do a front-end wheelie (a 'stoppie'), while a quick slash horizontally across the body will effect a mid-air spin (a 'carousel'). It's all pretty intuitive.

There are a handful of trucks available with hilarious names like Blaze and Vampire, but you can unlock even more of the vehicular beasts or improve the truck's speed and strength by making an in-app purchase.

Choose your own adventure

There are four zones in Megastunt Mayhem: the aforementioned training area, the ramp-laden Megastunt Arena, the timed Rush Hour Course, and the self-explanatory Demolition Park.

Megastunt Arena is all about learning the tricks. The ramps seem to go sky high, as do the mid-air rings of fire. There are also poles to grind your truck on, which is as unrealistic as it is fun. The Rush Hour Course, meanwhile, awards points for driving through as many gates as possible – literally.

Megastunt Mayhem is at its destructive best in Demolition Park, though, the arena that does the best job of recreating those classic run-over-anything Bigfoot rallies. Sure, points are given for stunts, but the bigger points and preset goals are achieved by crushing cars, breaking walls, and smashing items.

Cruise control

The testosterone-heavy rock soundtrack and big overwhelming visuals are perfectly appropriate for Megastunt Mayhem. It’s as if Duke Nukem himself was in charge of the graphic design here.

And while the controls are pretty darn good, one quibble about Megastunt Mayhem is that your truck often feels too light. It flips – nay, double-flips – with such ease that you have a hard time believing its crushing through that random barnyard. I would be happy to sacrifice a degree of speed if the slightly slower controls meant a sense of weight was better conveyed.

There is also multiplayer 'ghosting' available through OpenFeint, so you can see the performance trail of other players, but Megastunt Mayhem never provides that moment when two monster trucks run head-on into each other.

Finally, having the stronger trucks as in-app purchases feels like a cheap ploy. And though there is a free Megastunt Mayhem and a paid-for Megastunt Mayhem available, both require additional in-app payments to unlock everything. A little annoying, in my opinion.

Megastunt Mayhem lacks the gameplay heft or in-game weight of its real-life trucks, but you could do far worse than this arcade-friendly romp.
Megastunt Mayhem
Reviewer photo
Damon Brown | 13 September 2011
Megastunt Mayhem is a light-on-its-feet monster truck game with arcade fun
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