Review: Mutant Storm – The Hit Arcade Shooter, Re-imagined for iPad

Review: Mutant Storm – The Hit Arcade Shooter, Re-imagined for iPad

There have been a great number of ports to iOS from PC and consoles since the app store has grown immensely over the past few years or so. Some of these stay the same with no additional features or upgrades from the original version of the game, most notably the graphics. Others seem to take it a step further and bring something that’s just as great as an original game. Mutant Storm ($2.99, App Store Link) for iPad is the latest of these great ports; an arcade style shooter, which was previously released on PC, then on Xbox Live back in 2005.

Since this is a fast paced shooter similar to the gameplay of Geometry Wars, it’s only fitting that Mutant Storm would look and play that way on the iPad. Originally developed by PomPom Games, the iPad version was published by Crescent Moon Games and ported by NinthNinja, which bumped Mutant Storm to 60 frames per second on the third gen iPad, iPad 2, and the original iPad. Also for third generation iPad owners, NinthNinja added support for the Retina display for even more stunning graphics.

Gameplay

Mutant Storm contains 89 insane levels of gameplay, 8 different stages of difficulty, and two game modes; adventure and tally mode; in which you try to get the highest score on each level.  In my opinion, top down games such as Mutant Storm never get old. They have that old-school arcade style look to them, but at the same time it looks incredible on the iPad. Mutant Storm certainly has a wide variety of enemies. Each game or room is timed. If you complete the level before time runs out, you earn bonus points.

Since there are 89 levels in the game, there are a lot of enemies you encounter. You wouldn’t want to get tired of the same ones. Especially in the later levels a lot of the enemies are really challenging which keeps the game fresh. Even though Mutant Storm is more of an arcade top down shooter, it takes some strategy to get through the later levels, which are much more intense, of course. Throughout the game you level up. If you complete all 89 levels you earn a white belt. If you want something even more challenging, you can try to get through all 8 belts until you reach the coveted black belt.

Graphics

One thing that really stands out in Mutant Storm are the graphics. Back in 2005 when the game was released on Xbox Live Arcade, the graphics were really vibrant and visually pleasing overall. PomPom Games developed it to include 720p graphics, great 3D effects and visuals, and a lot of intense gameplay, The iPad version goes a step further with 60 frames per second gameplay and retina display support for the third generation iPad, which make the graphics look even as good as those on Xbox or PC. Mutant Storm packs some of the best graphics I’ve seen for a top down game on the new iPad and some of the best overall for any game on the app store.

Controls

Mutant Storm has tight controls for an arcade game. You can change the movement sensitivity of the ship and the deadzone as well as the sensitivity of the firing. I tried to play around with the sensitivity a little bit, but not too much because the default settings are already comfortable as is. If you’re left handed, you can choose that setting and the controls will be flipped. The default controls are set to have the movement of the ship on the left and the firing on the bottom right as well as the smart bomb on the top right. The controls are simple enough for any casual gamer to jump right into as an arcade game should be.

Conclusion

Overall, Mutant Storm is a great addition to the library of iPad games and even a better port. One thing I would have liked to see on the iPad version of Mutant Storm is multiplayer. The Xbox version contained local multiplayer, but I think NinthNinja could have added online multiplayer to the iPad version. This would have added a lot more to the gameplay but Mutant Storm for iPad does contain leaderboards and achievements as the Xbox version did. The game also has great sound effects that give it that retro feel from arcade games of the past. With 89 levels and great graphics, Crescent Moon Games and NinthNinja have really hit a homerun with Mutant Storm. For a limited time Mutant Storm is 40% off during launch sale.

Price: ($2.99, App Store Link)

Rating: 4.5/5[rating:4.5]

Pros:

  • 89 levels of gameplay
  • 60FPS on all iPads
  • Retina display support for third gen iPad

Cons: 

  • No multiplayer gameplay

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