Halfbrick Studios, the folks behind the wildly successful Fruit Ninja [Free / $0.99] and Jetpack Joyride [Free], has taken an interesting risk with their newest title. They've gone from games with wide appeal and cute but infectious concepts to something that lets players grind down major metropolises into nothing but smoldering rubble and perhaps the rest of the world with it.

Colossatron: Massive World Threat [Free] takes a slightly darker turn from the studio's usual fare of family friendly games with a concept that might appeal more to monster movie loving boys and the type of gamer who gets a kick out of watching a virtual world burn. However, it does so with the same kind of manic, reflexive gameplay that made its groundbreaking titles so much fun to play.

The game's title character is a giant, menacing snake-like creature designed to look like the massive villain from an anime film with a thirst for destruction on a massive scale. The interesting part is that the player doesn't actually control Coloassatron as it plows through buildings and armies of tanks and attack drones as though they were made of blocks of butter. It might sound like a bit of deceptive advertising but it's actually an interesting departure from other games where the anti-hero is a giant, city killing creature that lets the player turn a virtual township into their personal stress toy.

The player's job is to supply Colossatron with powernodes as it slithers across major structures and waves of military vehicles. Nodes come in different colors representing different types of weapons such as miniguns, missile launchers, flamethrowers and electricity rods that automatically fire as the armies of the aptly named General Moustache surround it.

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The clever part is in the planning. Players can group nodes together according to their colors to create bigger and more powerful weapons or they can combine two different colors to create a different type of weapon. The bigger versions can also combine adding a clever, color matching puzzle element to an action game not seen since Adult Swim's Monsters Ate My Condo [$0.99]. Since Colossatron moves without the player's control, there are moments when players will build a long, well organized chain but won't be able to throw in that key powernode to build up their arsenal since it takes time to catch the rest of the chain up to the screen. Thankfully, it doesn't constantly move in a straight line to give you time to arrange your chain and it's a minor annoyance in an otherwise fun experience.

As the game progresses through levels, it adds more powerups by spending the money the player has earned from their destruction such as refilling Colossatron's health meter and the ability to rearrange the order of its powernodes in between and even during skirmishes. There are also additional weapons to add to Colossatron's attack plan such as a rush attack for taking out key buildings or squadrons

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It's also presented in a very amusing manner. Players get an overhead view of Colossatron's dirty work as news reporters break in and out of the action to report on the monster's latest whereabouts and destructive accomplishments. Even General Moustache takes to the mic to bark orders at his troops and vent his frustration over Colossatron's indestructible nature. The dialogue is played up to be just as campy as the characters in a B-grade horror movie but it's a clever way to add some exposition and commentary to the game's universe.

The player's fingers may not be on Colossatron's trigger or steering wheel but Halfbrick has come up with a puzzling, action packed way to help Colossatron complete his mission of world domination.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Louis Ace

    Is there gonna be a Shadow Sun review any time soon? It sure deserves one.

  • m0ncrieff

    After reading the title I want to listen to R.E.M.'s song. Thank you, guys.

  • Broli95

    I'd like to get it but many people say its model is freemium-like because of the two currencies

  • oooooomonkey

    I'm just not finding this very entertaining at all, it's like it just plays itself.

    • KeKhan

      Have you played it?? !!
      It is AWESOME!!
      I was skeptical as well about the indirect control, but trust me there is NO downtime, you will be moving fast, and it supports multitouch.
      Later on you get moves that give you some direct control like a dash , focus fire, etc etc. it is fast paced frantic FUN!!
      Think match 3 + triple town + tower defense + Zuma and you start to get a sense of how this action game plays out.

      • Goggles789

        I played it and the lack of control was a huge let down. They should have made it a dual stick shooter, to be honest. I want to play games, not watch them and lightly interact with them.

    • Goggles789

      I felt the same way. Very boring and extremely over-hyped for what is presented. The end result should be a game we can play, not a game we simply watch. Ugh.

    • NOEN

      It feels like I'm just throwing nodes at this snake whenever they pop up and the game kind of plays itself. I don't know, maybe I'm missing something. I was really looking forward to this game too.

  • Zn37

    It could be a great game if without IAPs. I'd like spend 3 dollars instead that.

    • andrew9oh7

      Haha and this is why games have IAP.3 dollars isn't viable

  • CzechCongo

    iOS 7. Boo.

    • Taclys

      The latest and greatest. Boo.

  • Artur

    Loving the Dvorak in the video above.

  • ste86uk

    Downloading to give a go to make a decision for myself.

  • Goggles789

    Without direct control of the action, I felt like a spectator instead of a player. I play games because I enjoy direct interaction with the game. That's what differentiates them from movies and TV, in my mind. These indirect control games that pop up from time to time are just disappointing. I want to play the game, not watch it. For me, I feel as though I have wasted a dollar, and thank goodness it was only a dollar. Such a silly game, on so many levels.

    • dylanmannen

      Lol

  • Krautboy

    Pretty much unplayable when you're colourblind. I can't understand devs still don't take this into account when making games that depend on colour matching so much.

    • Jutto

      That might be a deal breaker for me :( I hope they might release a patch with symbols on the node. I will watch this space.

      • symmetrian

        There are symbols on each node already.

      • Krautboy

        Yes,and they dissappear as soon as you put them in the colossatron. It gets replaced with the weapon.

      • Joshua Sanderson

        There are weapons on each node. It's a little more difficult to remember that missile launcher combines with laser, but it's doable.

        The colourblindness issue is one that devs take into consideration, I'm sure. I'm colourblind and a developer myself. It always hurts me when a game comes out and isn't 100% colourblind-friendly but I know it takes extra time and resources that smaller studios often just don't have for a 1.0 release.

        Hopefuly we'll see colourblindness help in an update, Halfbrick?

      • Jutto

        For a $1 I might give this one a go. I will post a comment to let people know how I got on.

      • Krautboy

        Well,the white symbols on the light coloured nodes are already a big miss for me. In such a frantic game i just can't see it. And i don't want to play memory,i'll reinstall when it's solved.

      • Jutto

        This game is awesome. I think of it as a TD than anything, but a lot more faster pace. Match 3 element is an interesting idea. I haven't found issue with colour, so I think they did a pretty good job.

  • philodygmn

    Love that article title!

    This game is a blast! Tons of unlockables and you earn _plenty_ of currencies. I finished in 4 hours with zero money and only a handful of retries. Super entertaining and engaging, excellent production values, another win by Halfbrick!

  • mr_bez

    "the player doesn't actually control Coloassatron"
    Freudian slip? At least it wasn't Colon-ass-atron.

  • Cilo

    Any reason why none of these review posts have links to the forum thread included somewhere? Or am I missing it?

  • Sven Van de Perre

    I see I'm not the only one that feels like he has little control over the game. Still like it though. And also, I can only applaud them for not sticking to worn out game-types. These Halfbrick guys got the b*lls to just make stuff that just 'new'. Hats off to that.

  • skatter

    I'm thoroughly enjoying the game. However, in experiencing a bug that is thoroughly killing my enjoyment. Every time I complete a country...the prisms I earned in that last level? Vanish. Poof. Without a trace. Intensely annoying, and it's happening on both my iPhone 5s and first gen iPad mini. Sigh.

  • http://www.silentrocco.com/ Silent Rocco

    I was really dissapointed about the gameplay first. But then, magically, 3 hours had gone. By far the best Halfbrick game yet.

  • oxmuzzle

    It's free for the first time today!

Colossatron: Massive World Threat Reviewed by Danny Gallagher on . Rating: 4.5