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Max Axe

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Don't axe me

Product: Max Axe | Developer: Naked Sky Entertainment | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Endless running | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.2.1
Max Axe iPhone, thumbnail 1
Somewhere deep within the soul of every man and woman on Earth there exists a primal desire to strip down to our skivvies and run screaming into traffic, hefting an axe.

Unfortunately, acting on certain instincts is unacceptable to The Man, so we have to channel the call of our ancestors through safer outlets. Max Axe by Naked Sky Games is an addictive action game that doubles as effective therapy.

You play through Max Axe as Max, a dude with an axe. Max is a berserker, a warrior who exists only to bash things and harvest loot.

The game offers heaps of enemy-slicing opportunities, and it's generally a blast to play, though some adjustments to its controls would really help this runner/slashed hit its mark.

Line up

IAPs explained
Max Axe utilises gold for weapon and armour upgrades. You can buy bundles of gold with real-world cash via an in-app purchase, but it's not necessary. There's plenty of gold and gems lying around, and deposits are especially thick when you start a run.

You can also buy resurrection tokens ("Rez"), which revive Max exactly where he falls instead of making you start the run again. You begin the game with 20 tokens, and they're not often given away for free.
Max Axe features a top-down view of the action. Combined with the endless streams of enemies, the game's unusual perspective makes it feel a bit like a vertical shooter. As Max trundles along, you draw lines from his person to hurl an axe at enemies, coins, power-ups, and objects. Whatever the axe strikes is destroyed and/or collected.

Max can also chain attacks for score-multiplying combos. Instead of drawing a straight line from Max to a slime, for example, you can draw a line that includes all the slimes in a group - provided Max's axe is able to achieve the necessary distance for wiping them all out.

Combos bring big rewards, including temporary axe power-ups and showers of coins. If Max takes too many hits and falls in battle, he can continue from where he left off using a token. Otherwise, he's booted back to the beginning of his run.

You gotta wreck it

Whereas many auto-scrolling games demand speed, Max Axe is all about destruction. You're encouraged to wreck property alongside the enemy hordes, and the more you destroy, the greater your rewards.

Bad guys and scenery alike hold rivers of gold coins, which go back into upgrading Max. A well-equipped berserker is a berserker that'll live to see another day, after all.

The ability to upgrade Max makes Max Axe a fun game to run through again and again, regardless of how many times you lose.

Buying Max new helmets increases the number of hits he can take before he collapses. Upgrading his axe gives him more powerful strikes. Equipping him with glove accessories improves the speed and distance of his throw.

Before long, enemies that troubled you at the start of a run begin falling like grass under a mower. Since there's still a lot of loot to collect in the first few minutes of the game, however, starting over feels neither dull nor frustrating.

The leisurely berserker

Though Max Axe lets you embrace the joy of hacking things up, there are times when it hits with a dull thud instead of a sharp whack.

The controls are less than perfect, for instance. You have to draw a line from Max to the enemy or object you're interested in cutting down, which is fine, but if your line isn't connected to Max he won't throw. When you're caught up in the heat of battle you don't always have time to draw your very best line, especially when bad guys come at you in massive herds. A little leniency would be nice.

Also, given the speed at which enemies approach, Max's axe flies slower than it ought to, even if it's been upgraded. More speed equals more destruction.

Max Axe needs to work on its aim, then, but overall it's a good way for you to throw around sharp objects without being clapped in jail. Go berserk.
Max Axe
Reviewer photo
Nadia Oxford | 21 November 2013
Max Axe provides a smashing good time, though it would be even better if the axe-chucking element offered a bit more speed and accuracy
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