Version Reviewed: 1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Distinctly grind-focused, Meltdown is occasionally entertaining but far too often feels uninspired and unoriginal. Except, that is, when played in multiplayer mode - then it becomes surprisingly good fun.
A cover shooter at heart, players control a soldier from a third-person perspective as they battle their way through various corridors located on what I'm assuming is a spaceship. There's no story to speak of, with the focus solely on shooting anything that moves. Enemies teleport in so much of the time is spent creeping forward in order to pass a certain point and watch as they are unleashed.
Combat is straightforward enough; with firing automatically done by default, and players mostly dictating when they roll out of the way to dodge enemy fire. Melee attacks are possible too, with a swipe of a finger initiating a blow. It's possible to manually override the auto fire, as well as switch to a virtual joystick system, but I found the default method works pretty well.
While Meltdown might promise 30 randomly generated levels, new levels are very, very similar to the last so it's a pretty samey experience throughout. The focus instead is on earning enough money and experience in which to customize one's soldier. New skills and weapon upgrades can be purchased, making quite the difference to success.
The real strength, however, comes from Meltdown's multiplayer co-operative mode. It doesn't adjust the difficulty level to accommodate more players so it's a fair bit easier, but it's immensely more entertaining, too. That's despite the lack of in-game chat making Meltdown feel quite cold and distant.
Meltdown isn't the worst game by any means, but it lacks a soul. That's something that every game needs in order to keep its compelling edge. Meltdown just lacks any true excitement or originality after too brief a time.