for the modern age
, the old coin-op game where you were a giant monster knocking over buildings? Imagine it all in 3D and presented with a lot more style and you have I Was An Atomic Mutant!
Choose to play as a mutant brain, an alien robot, a giant lizard or a 50ft woman and then go smash stuff. That kind of gameplay never goes out of style.
This budget game has style to burn. The menus are presented in the overblown style of movie posters. You can play in black and white or color. You can even display the game on a drive in screen or on a theatre screen if you'd like. When you choose a monster, you can watch a great movie trailer explaining the monster's origin (full of well placed stock footage and 'classic' dialogue like "No bonds can contain this savage beauty with a primal lust for vengeance!"). If you look at the people and vehicles, they bounce as you stomp by. It's all these little details that elevate this game from the much of its' budget competitors.
You get to stomp through desert towns eating cows, tossing tanks, blowing up nuclear power-plants and smashing mobile homes. All the while you're harassed by soldiers, tanks, turrets and various planes.
You have to keep an eye on your health and your atomic energy. This is needed for your most powerful attacks.
Each monster has five basic attacks: fire, punch, stomp, throw and super. They vary a little depending on which monster you choose (Reptomicus can eat the people he picks up, for instance), but they all serve the same functions.
There are various power-ups hidden in buildings. You should have no problem finding them, since you have to level everything to move on to the next area.
Graphics are pretty good. Not cutting edge in any way, but the monsters are very detailed.
The music is fantastic throughout. Like every good 50's sci-fi theme there's over-the-top orchestral arrangements mixed with plenty of Theremin "WooOooOoo" sounds. People running on the ground say funnily appropriate things and blame science for the monster's attack.
The people at Canopy Games
are big fans of 50's sci-fi movies and it shows everywhere.
I highly enjoyed this game, but I wish there were more. Like the old Rampage
game, you have three lives and play until they are gone. This essentially makes the game never ending. Given the movie-style presentation of everything else, I wish they would have given each monster their own story mode. Even just a few lines of text in the load screen and a final showdown of some type would have been enough to give you the sense that you were moving forward with more of a purpose than just to level an area.
My second problem is tied a little bit to the first: I think it would have been fun if every few levels you got to fight one of the other monsters. I loved kicking the stuffing out of the military base, but wished I could test my skills as Invader From Dimension X by taking on the She Beast while doing it. How such an obvious gameplay element was left out is beyond me.
Also, I would have liked a multiplayer option for the same reasons as those listed above. That omission isn't a game killer though.
The Bottom Line
I originally picked this one up on the strength of Canopy Games'
last budget game, the terrific Desert Rats
. I'm glad I did.
While it's easy to see how a few improvements could have been made, for an old fashioned arcade-type experience, I Was An Atomic Mutant! delivers the goods.