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July 2003



- Great classic arcade action

- Lots of swirling lights

- Intense action

- Two-player and web rankings



- Ship is almost indistinguishable in some battles

- Twoís a crowd on the keyboard



Classic Review: Smash TV (SNES)

Review: X-Com Enforcer (PC)



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Mutant Storm

Score: 8.9 / 10


If you were a fan of the classic arcade games Smash TV or Robotron, Mutant Storm (MS) was made for you.


Like Smash TV and Robotron, MS utilizes the two-stick method, which means one stick controls your movement while the other controls your direction of fire.  Donít worry if you donít have a gamepad with two directional pads; MS can be configured to work with the keyboard or keyboard/mouse.


mutant storm pc review          mutant storm pc review


The game starts simply enough, even if you have to get a handle on the two-stick method.  For those that may not be familiar with either Smash TV or Robotron, each level consists of a screen-sized arena, which is then flooded with enemies.  Itís your task to blast the enemies within the time allotted with whatever firepower becomes available.  After the first couple of levels the challenge ramps up considerably and not just because the enemies become more aggressive and harder to kill.


MS is a great looking game, with plenty of snap and pop to the graphics.  And It doesnít seem to matter how much is roving around the screen, things never slow 




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down and the lighting effects are very nice to watch.  Itís almost too good looking for its own good.  Except for your ship, which is essentially an arrow.  When things get hectic itís actually easy to loose track of where your ship is.


Iíve experienced ďnull-timeĒ before Ė entering that state of pure concentration when everything falls out of your peripheral vision and time no longer exists Ė but MS consistently put me into that null-time zone.  The graphics 


seem like epileptic neon and when the screen is packed with enemies you practically have to enter that zone to proceed to the next level Ė no matter which power-up you manage to snag.  To say itís intense is almost an understatement.  In this way it avoids being addictive because itíll keep you satiated for a long time Ė that hit lasts a long time!  That being said, itís the perfect game to fill time because itís so good at emulating the arcade experience (though with no quarters).


mutant storm pc review          mutant storm pc review


The real downside to MS is the audio component.  PomPom is an indie developer and in most cases any kind of audio would be welcome, but MS should honestly be played with the volume set to off.  MS goes for a futuristic, sci-fi sensibility but it just sounds, well, bad.


If youíre looking at bang for the buck, Mutant Storm wonít let you down.  Itís a $20US download from GarageGames and youíll be able to squeeze a lot of gaming out of it.  Gets a thumbs up, especially if youíre an old-school arcade fan (just play with the audio off).


- Omni

(August 20, 2003)


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