App Reviewed on: iPhone 4
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When someone says "Hey, I've made this game inspired by the discs from Tron" my responses is always going to be "Hells yeah, let me play this game you made inspired by the discs from Tron." That's why you're reading a review of Maximus Discus, a game made by RX Games that was inspired by the discs from Tron, the awesome sci-fi film that, like me, was released to the public back in 1982.
As with the film, the idea is to fire discs at opponents until their health bars are depleted and they become cyber-dust. Battles are one-on-one and take place in an ice-hockey like arena, with the camera set behind and over my avatar so I get a behind-the-goal view. To fire a disc I flick it up and across the screen. The only other inputs are placing a temporary shield by sliding down or horizontally, and moving my avatar left and right with taps to the side of him.
While Maximus Discus is not the most visually defined of creatures, the Mortal Kombat-like animations with what appear to be digitized sprites and the almost tacky-looking arena backdrops do suit a game based on Tron, and it does come across as deliberate given the wonderfully gaudy 80s electronica rioting through my earholes.
Unfortunately, the play is not quite as charming, and it's hard to pin down exactly why. The controls work reasonably well minus some imprecision with shields. There's a nice variety of discs, including a homing missile disc and one that has two decoy mirages. There would appear to be the foundations for something more satisfying, but in practice the game suffers from being easy to pick up but not that difficult to master. Once I have using shields correctly nailed down and am able to deflect my enemies' discs back into them, the game seems to lose to something. It starts to feel like glorified ice hockey, and while there's not all that much wrong with that it does become a little wearying to push through either the arcade or the story mode. Having said that, the story mode does a good job of introducing the different discs one and by one, and does have an amusingly cheesy script to keep me plodding through.
Maximus Discus is a reasonable homage to one of the most iconic films of the 20th century. Its ice-hockey like battles are good if not spectacular, but may be worth a look just for that bodacious 80s soundtrack.