Meltdown review (iOS / Universal)

November 11, 2013

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10 word description: “Become the most skilled soldier and get the best upgrades.” Copied from the app store description. Thanks, Bulkypix, that helps a lot!

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10 word review: Fun, addictive shooter if you pretend the IAPs aren’t there.

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You will like this if you enjoy: Isometric view shooters, relentless shoot ‘n’ dodge gameplay, unlocking and upgrading weapons, levelling up with new skills.

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The good news: Visuals and audio are very high quality, characters and objects detailed and colourful. Combat is entertaining with a progression of increasingly dangerous enemies. New Character skills and weapons constantly become available for unlock or update. Plenty of campaign missions, plus a dynamically adapting Quick Play mission that sets its difficulty according to your level. Online multiplayer co-op mode – yes, I did try it and I liked it. Lots of nice little touches such as the mission/level number displayed on the elevator at the start, all of which make the game feel very polished. 

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The bad news: The version reviewed has (possibly sorted by the time you read this) a couple of crash bugs such as allowing you to equip a melee weapon in the second gun slot. Easy to resolve once you’re aware of it. No sync between devices – come on, add this in now!

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Arcadelife verdict: This is a great game. I got it on a whim because the graphics looked nice (yeah, I know), but the gameplay is so kinetic and addictive, the constant levelling and upgrading such a great hook that I can hardly stop playing it, even with other similarly excellent recent games such as Blocky Roads and Rayman Fiesta Run on my iOS devices. It would be easy, and a bit of a cheap shot, to dismiss the environments and action as repetitive, to point out that some grinding is required to buy everything as soon as it’s available, but none of that is particularly important.

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Ultimately, what you have in Meltdown is a game that feels like the exciting bits of XCOM where things are actually shooting at you, but here you have the ability to dodge and shoot back in real time. It’s fun, it’s pretty, the graphical excellence and audio subtleties make it seem more epic and less like a phone game than it actually is, all of which is rather nice. Recommended, with hardly any reservations.

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Arcadelife rating

Presentation – 9/10
Visuals – 9/10
Controls – 8.5/10
Content – 8.5/10
Fun – 9/10
Final rating – 9/10


Rating categories explained here.
Version reviewed by Arcadelife is 1.1
iTunes link
Arcadelife played and reviewed this game on:
5th gen iPod Touch (iOS 7.0.3)
4th gen iPad (iOS 7.0.3)
This review was typed on a Das Keyboard Model S mechanical keyboard – check them out, they’re really rather groovy.

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