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Developer: Glu Games Inc.
Price: Free
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Whoever coined the term “defensive driving” never shared the road with hideous mutants. If they had, they’d know that there’s only one way to deal the big uglies: mow ‘em down. That’s the premise of Mutant Roadkill from Glu Games Inc. — it’s all about splattering mutants and driving as far as possible.

My first impression of Mutant Roadkill was that it shared a lot in common with Temple Run. Basically, it’s a third-person view of a vehicle racing through a decayed, urban landscape. There are obstacles that must be avoided by tilting the idevice, and, occasionally, the player needs to swipe across the screen in the direction they want or need to go. However, there are enough differences here to make this a unique experience. It might draw on the influence of Temple Run’s mechanics, but it definitely stands out.

One innovative difference is in the degree of control the player has over the vehicle. It’s not just left or right, the tilt sensitivity actually allows for the player to make precise movements, steering the vehicle either into mutants while avoiding obstacles. Nowhere is this more obvious than when a mutant manages to grab onto the vehicle. Players will have to scrape them off by coming as close to an obstacle as possible without crashing into it.

Aiding the player in their escape are a series of power-ups to help waste mutants before they ever get close enough to pose a problem. To unlock these power-ups, players simply smash through enough mutants to fill up a kill meter. Once it fills, a power-up is chosen at random and given to the player. Along with guns and turrets, electro-shock power-ups give the mutants a nasty dose of electricity if they try to grab on while nitro boosts increase distance and make it harder for them to keep up.

At the end of each round is a feature I like that allows a player to continue their run if they spend some coins. There is also a bonus round that rewards players with a power-up based on whether the player met certain challenges. Of course, players can also unlock power-ups by visiting the store and making a few purchases either with real money or coins they earned in the game.

Mutant Roadkill features some great, cell-shaded 3D graphics and special effects. While it does seem like the short intro never runs smoothly, the main game runs nicely. Overall, it could probably use a little more optimization.

With the global leaderboards to compete against, Mutant Roadkill offers a lot to keep things going. The controls feel flawless, the graphics looks great, and the game is plain fun to play. Mutant Roadkill definitely scratches that itch for violent thrills and bloodshed. This is one to check out for players who like to push the edge.


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