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Blast And Slash Your Way Through Tough Machines In Meltdown

November 12, 2013

Meltdown© ($1.99) by Bulkypix is a challenging arcade shooter game that will get your blood pumping.

I’ve found that when I’m stressed out, a great way to relieve that stress is to, you know, blow up virtual things, cause a little mayhem. That’s why shooters are so great — they end up relaxing you after a long day. When I stumbled upon Meltdown, I knew that this looked like a promising title that was worth a look.

The graphics are rendered in 3-D, and look pretty good, although the main character looks a bit too “blocky” for my tastes. However, the character model animations are smooth and fluid, and the environments are fairly detailed, despite the dark, galactic setting. There’s also an overall cartoonish feel to the game, which works out well in this case, especially with our stocky male character. The soundtrack for the game is done quite nicely, as the tunes are upbeat and fast-paced, and have that touch of out-of-this-world-adventure to it.

The game itself will consist of 30 missions, which mostly consist of getting from Point A to Point B while clearing out all enemies along the way. You will face off against tougher baddies as you progress, with each enemy having their own special gear and combat style, as well as AI. In order to succeed, you can’t just rush in and shoot and slice everything up without thinking — you need to adapt. The game does start you off with a tutorial to show you the basics of the gameplay. There is also co-op multiplayer mode available if you want to team up with friends.

By default, the controls are set to touch. This means you tap on the screen where you want to move, double-tap to dodge by rolling, and perform mêlée or ranged attacks with the appropriate action buttons along the bottom.

I found the touch controls to be very annoying and made things more difficult than they should be, so I opted for the virtual controls instead. This places a joystick in the bottom left for movement, and you have the action/mêlée and ranged attack buttons to the right. As you move, the action button will be on screen, but if you’re standing still, it will shift into the mêlée button.

If you have a gamepad, there is support for gamepads in Meltdown. I don’t have one of my own, so I wasn’t able to test this part of the game. I would recommend checking to see if yours is compatible, though.

Regardless of which control scheme you use, though, you will automatically take cover behind available obstacles to avoid enemy fire. And when there is an enemy on screen, you will automatically lock on to them for ranged attacks, so you just need to worry about pulling the trigger. Mêlée attacks, however, are a bit more annoying to pull off, and you’ll need to be precise with your movements.

As you clear out enemies and complete missions, you will earn gold coins and experience. There will also be items to pick up along the way, like health kits, ammo packs, and money. As you gain levels, you will earn skill points to use towards upgrading your character’s damage, health, and more, making it feel a bit like an RPG. The coins you earn can be spent in the shop for more ranged and mêlée weaponry, and various upgrades. If you decide you aren’t happy with your spent skills, you can reset your character as well, but at the cost of gold.

Additionally, even though this is a paid game, there are more things you can get through in-app purchases, which I’m not too fond of. You can get a double XP gain, double drop coins, 1UPs, chips, and coins for real life cash. These will range from $0.99 to $9.99.

For what it’s worth, Meltdown is a pretty fun game for the initial cost. The IAPs definitely aren’t necessary and not forced on you, but it still irks me. Still, the game features a quirky, cartoonish look that is pretty fun, a catchy soundtrack, and very challenging gameplay. I just wish I didn’t have to keep hearing the female voice that says “Melee kill!” or “Double Kill!” every time I do one of those things — it gets annoying. There isn’t a way to turn this off, but I hope that changes in the future.

If you enjoy arcade shooter games that are definitely a challenge, then I recommend checking this game out. You can find it in the App Store as a universal download for $1.99.

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