Earlier this year at PAX Australia, Halfbrick (best known for creating Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride) announced their newest game to be released later in 2013, Colossatron: Massive World Threat.
The trailer shown at their panel promised an epic tower offense game featuring extreme amounts of carnage in a colourful and vibrant world, as did the beta of the game which players got the chance to play on the show floor.
But is the game as fun and exciting as the beta and trailer promised?
Explosive Tower Offence Action!
This is simply one of the best games I have played on iOS, once again proving Halfbrick truly understands what the strengths of an iPhone are and what mobile gamer wants from a game.
It can be enjoyed for any length of time, whether it’s the 5 minutes you would spend waiting for a bus or an hour of play on the couch.
Rather than being a tower DEFENCE game, I would describe Colossatron as a tower OFFENCE game. The goal is to build your Colossatron as long and strong as possible to overcome the military defence of the various cities, while causing as much destruction as possible to the metropolises themselves.
There are red, blue and yellow powercores with unique offensive abilities you are able to attach to your Colossatron to strengthen it. These include missiles for splash damage, long range laser cannons, proximity based lighting bolts and many others.
There are also green, orange and purple powercores which can be created by combining the different primary colours for more exotic abilities which include flamethrowers and repair units. But to increase power and defence, you’ll need to arrange three powercores of the same colour side by side so they combine to form one more powerful segment if you want any hope of beating the later stages.
Halfbrick have also included a unique feature where every twenty-four hours, each powercore will have its ability changed. For example, red powercores yesterday fired missiles but today, red fires a spread shot.
In essence, the strategy you employ and the pieces you prefer will change every day based on what abilities the game has randomly selected for you. This greatly increases the re-playability of the game as you experiment with the new combinations of attack.
Alternatively, if you prefer a bit more control, you can purchase your favourite weapons using tokens collected in game to use at your leisure. They’re found while playing the game and are also used to permanently increase your defence.
Tokens can also be bought using real money should you be short on time or want to give the developers more money!
The only failing is the length of the game as there are only seven cities with four levels to pass in each. Every time you destroy a city, you unlock an endless survival mode for that area and are given a gadget to equip to your Colossatron.
However you can beat the final stage so quickly, you won’t have enough time to enjoy the last upgrades unless you continuously play survival mode to set new high scores or receive more tokens.
There is a prestige mode once you beat the final stage which allows you to play through again with a harder difficulty, but you lose all the gadgets you earned by beating the game in the first place.
You only get to keep the upgrades you bought with tokens, so some players will end up beating the levels once, and either retiring the game or playing survival mode again and again. It definitely could use a couple of extra game modes.
You’re Watching Action 6 News
Colossatron is not just an addictive game to play, but also stands out in sound and visuals. The game is presented through the lens of cheesy news show, Action 6 News who report on the devastation of Colossatron.
Level select and upgrade screens play typical news room music further reinforcing the cheesy action news aesthetic of the game.
As you play, you have running commentary from Rick Dalton in the studio and Katie Hazard from the field. Amusingly (or disturbingly?) the duo don’t seem to mind human civilization is being destroyed and report everything with a cheerful smile and plenty of pep in their voices.
Then there is General Moustache, spouting cheesy one liners whenever a fresh wave of enemies or a boss is sent to decimate you. All the characters are as cartoony as you might expect and Colossatron itself is overly bright and colourful, not unlike if Voltron was a mechanised snake.
All the audio in the game is excellent from the voice acting to the sound effects. As mentioned earlier, the reporters are eerily cheerful which makes them a joy to listen to while crushing humanity.
General Moustache is the exact kind of gruff, over acted voice you would want from a military man tasked with destroying a giant alien snake. All the guns and explosive noises are well crafted as no two weapons sound the same and explosions come in a variety of volumes to help keep you immersed in your destructive rampage.
While the music is not outstanding, it complements the overall aesthetic of the game very well. The music, sound, voice acting and visual presentation of Colossatron craft an epic, yet silly Saturday morning cartoon vibe similar to the old Transformers cartoon.
Colossatron Massive World Threat Review
Colossatron is an extremely fun game with outstanding overall presentation and addictive gameplay which will keep players entertained for hours. It may feel criminally short if only playing the main game once, but different combinations of upgrades, a prestige mode and powers that change every 24 hours is more than enough reason to pay 99 cents for this excellent title.
Any fan of good mobile gaming will want to play Colossatron, as will any fan of tower defence games with a twist.