I was an Atomic Mutant! (Windows)

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Written by  :  Kasey Chang (4622)
Written on  :  Apr 07, 2005
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Stylistic destruction a lot of campy fun, and less filling

The Good

Plenty of 50's movie horror poster style, complete with black and white, cinema 3D vision, and other campy special effects, got the feeling of the atomic panic just right, each monster has their little "origin" movie which further adds to the campy feeling

The Bad

Monsters not that different, as they all have about the same 5 attacks, and otherwise nothing really different except the looks, no "purpose" to the game other than destruction and survival (onto one more town!), seems the game will never end sometimes, same tactics work over and over, enemies sometimes come from nowhere.

The Bottom Line

IWAAM is a game that could have aimed just a bit higher. It is dripping with style, and lots of production value, but it is just shallow enough that it will be relegated to the bargain bins.

Basically, you choose one of the 5 monsters (each with their own origin intro!) and then you rampage through the desert, destroying towns and outposts and cities and whatnot. As you destroy each one, you're healed and move onto the next town, which would have more defenders... You will be attacked by all sorts of enemies, from simple soldiers to chemical warriors spraying poison, from small P-51 Mustang fighters to B-52 bombers, from armored cars to tanks, and plenty of fixed weapons, all trying to slow you down and stop you.

You can be hurt, and those hits add up. Attacking a structure that explodes too close will hurt you as well. Your life ("awesome MIGHT!") is your measure. If you run out, you fell to the ground, and it's game over! (Though you actually do get multiple lives). Your other measure is "atomic energy", or your little "attack bar". Most attacks cost energy, and when you run out of energy, you can't attack, but energy regenerates rather quickly. Different attacks (there are five of them, from beam/projectile, to smash, kick/stomp, pick up/throw, and a special attack. Each would use different amount of energy (some don't use any!) thus energy management is a key skill.

Some of the monsters can pick up items, and throw them, doing even more damage. Cars and armored cars got tossed into buildings, sky scrappers fall into ruin, civilians panicking and running away... I's all here.

There are some power-ups you can find on the map that will give you extra lives, or recharge (or both!)

You can also play in "monster mode", which means you have only ONE life, but unlimited energy, or you can play in regular mode, which gives you 3 lives, but energy can run out. You just keep attacking towns and installations until... The humans bring you down.

The problem is... the game gets a bit boring after a while. There is only so much you can do. The monsters aren't that different, contributing to the monotony. Survival and high-score doesn't quite seem to fit the "monster" theme, but then, this is a "campy" game. One hopes for monster "versus" mode, ability to customize the monsters a bit (trade speed for life, etc.) and of course, multiplayer.

All in all, IWAAM is a sleeper-hit of a game that is sadly under-appreciated, and deserves a second look, if only for the campy chuckle factor.