Developer: Propaganda3, Inc.
Price: $0.99 (FREE for a limited time)
Version Reviewed: 1.0.5
App Reviewed on: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆

What has been said about carnival folk that isn’t worth restating a thousand times over? This creepy lot of nomads have a long and frankly off-putting history, all revolving around traveling carnivals. Burn the Lot finally puts the player in the boots of a western inspired outlaw who is on a mission to clear the shifty bunch out of his space town, while recovering the goods they have stolen from the local townsfolk in the process. It is high noon and there is hell to pay, so clowns better start running for cover.

IMG_0168Burn the Lot is a quasi-isometric action title that revolves around two key attacks: hacking and shooting. The entire game hinges on the player’s ability to execute these moves to perfection. Aside from this duo of abilities, the only other major component is sidestepping projectiles being hurtled in their general direction. Combat is insanely easy to grasp. In fact, it is so simple to perfect that only weapon upgrades provide any form of genuine variety. Essentially playing a single stage is playing the entire game.

Taking cues from the presentation of titles like Mario Galaxy, the game has a very unique aesthetic that draws upon curved futuristic worlds where the player is pursuing what is just beyond the horizon while also dipping into the spaghetti western era. The story itself is delivered in a thick enough southern drawl to give Slim Pickens a run for his money. Enemies consist of assorted forms such as sailors, bandits, zombies, and even demented clowns. Why are they worthy of killing? Who knows, really, except for those clowns. They had to have done something in their life to justify hot lead between the eyes.

IMG_0166The core goal of every stage is dispatching of enough enemies to gather keys. These keys then unlock the final encounter of the level. Sometimes these conflicts are boss battles, other times it is a space ship that needs to be disarmed. Essentially the crux of every challenge feels repetitive to the point of exhaustion, even after only a couple of stages. Despite offering up a bevy of different weapons, it all still boils down to blowing away anything that moves, time after time.

One can’t always judge a book by its cover. Though Burn the Lot has a fantastically promising art style and solid production values, it lacks the necessary gusto in the gameplay department to justify playing through more than a couple of stages. Unfortunately, burning through this two horse town is nothing more than a one trick pony.


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