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Mutant Storm

For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Reloaded? Retired

Product: Mutant Storm | Developer: PomPom Games | Publisher: Crescent Moon Games | Format: iPad | Genre: Arcade, Shooter | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Mutant Storm iPad, thumbnail 1
The problem with ports is that things move on. The games industry stubbornly refuses to stay still, so by the time a game leaps onto a new platform it can feel as outmoded as a cassette tape in a bomber jacket.

When Mutant Storm: Reloaded hit Xbox Live Arcade in 2005 it heralded the rejuvenation of the twin-stick shooter, boldly reskinning Robotron with trippy Minter-esque backdrops and sci-fi sound effects.

But in the years since, twin-stick blasters have become so ubiquitous that between Waves and Super Stardust and Everyday Shooter and Geometry Wars, they're bordering on blasé.

Two sticks are better than one

So, perhaps a little unfairly, Mutant Storm must now go head-to-head with the very descendants it inspired. And it's not a very fair fight. Played in 2012, Storm lacks the energy and vigour of its new peers.

It doesn't have the zest for destruction seen in Radiangames's catalogue. It doesn't have the seat-of-your-pants thrill of a Cave bullet-hell shooter. The psychedelic graphics, revered seven years ago, now just look tacky.

It quite simply doesn't feel satisfying to blast away the enemies. You're supposed to be churning up swarms of mutant nasties with high-powered lasers, but it feels like you're killing ants by spitting at them. Enemies flitter out of existence in a splutter of fireworks and a cry that sounds like a broken smoke alarm.

A black belt in blasting

At least the enemies themselves are interesting. There are nuisance robo-walkers who block your shots, skittering spiders that spit level-wide laser beams, and neon Katamari balls that explode into clouds of disco sperm.

The dynamic difficulty system is a clever addition, too. The game gets harder as you get better (trading up for better belts) but relaxes if you're struggling. It almost works, but there's still a distinct difficulty spike around level 20 where it leaps from sluggish to hellish.

In all, Mutant Storm just feels flat. On top of that, its painfully short levels are sandwiched by score screens, making for a disjointed and awkward flow. In a sea of much better shmups, Mutant Storm just fizzles out.
Mutant Storm
Reviewer photo
Mark Brown | 14 June 2012
A finely-tuned port from Xbox to iPad, but Mutant Storm feels flat and unsatisfying in comparison to far better blasters on the App Store
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Jun 2012
Post count:
bloke101 | 14:14 - 20 June 2012
Harsh - maybe MS is little too hardcore for you? It's the Dark Souls of twin stick shooters :-)

Notice it got an Editors Pick on the App Store 'though - glad someone's giving a bit of love.
Jun 2012
Post count:
Debs100 | 13:38 - 14 June 2012
I think that review is pretty harsh... I'm really enjoying playing the game. It plays and looks gorgeous on the iPad3. And the controls are the best touch dual stick combination of any game on the App Store.
Aug 2011
Post count:
Aces High | 12:15 - 14 June 2012
That's a shame, I was just about to grab this one. Will give it a miss then. Good timing on my part though - for once!