Developer: Halfbrick
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad Mini Retina

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

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

One of the most interesting things about the mobile era of games is the trend of titles that leave a lot of their gameplay handled automatically. Making them still feel like a game and not a money crank is the challenge, and Colossatron sticks its hand in the ring here. It’s a game about wanton destruction, and players have only a limited say in the process of that destruction. In reality this is more of a match-3 game than an action game, as it might appear at first glance with a giant robotic serpent destroying everything.

Colossatron-4See, Colossatron, the eponymous destroyer of cities, is made up of differently-colored segments that form its assault: each color segment attacks in different ways. The segments are found floating about the levels and they must be dragged in to Colossatron to activate them. Red, blue, and yellow segments can be found, and for those who remember their grade school art classes, the colors can be mixed to form green, orange, and purple segments with different effects. Three of the same color segment in a row forms a stronger version of that weapon. Managing these segments while the armies attack is the heart of the game. Later, certain abilities make it possible to direct specific attacks at the armies.

The chaos that Colossatron lives by is what it dies by as well: it’s fun to watch everything get blown up, and the live news reporting adds a great touch to the game. But it’s just way too difficult to figure out what is going on, what is hitting Colossatron, where the powerup units are, what order they’re in for creating the perfect layout, which segments are about to come off – it’s just too much. And that chaos is just so built-into the game, for better and for worse.

Colossatron-7Really, I almost fear that the game becomes about upgrades with the prisms to make sure that the different segments can stay alive for longer, because at a certain point skill doesn’t play a huge factor. At least prisms can be found occasionally while playing, and money serves exclusively as a way to buy boosts – and enough is earned to where they can become a regular thing that players will use when they absolutely need them. It’s a $0.99 game and has additional monetization, but it’s definitely more in the Jetpack Joyride vein of monetization.

Colossatron is a joy to look at, and its gameplay is definitely friendly to casual players who want to play a big action game without having to learn complicated action systems. But that lack of control is what’s missing from this game: success being tied to fate, or to just playing enough to be strong enough to survive makes this a moderately entertaining distraction, but not a very satisfying one.


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