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iPhone App Video Review: Major Mayhem

by Andrew Koziara

First, condos were eaten by monsters . Then, sandwiches were brought to alien overlords. Now, Major Mayhem is unleashed in this latest [adult swim] published game from developer Rocket Jump. This completely over-the-top, interactive eighties action movie is jam packed with crisp, colorful visuals and plenty of humor, although the gameplay is fairly simple and repetitive.

Major Mayhem is an on rails shooter that takes a lot of cues from the classic Time Crisis series. Rather than keep you in the first person perspective, our cigar chomping hero can always be seen on the left side of the screen.  As you mercilessly mow down waves of faceless henchmen, you'll progress from one area to the next, with the occasional basic run and gun platforming section thrown in-between. To shoot enemies, you simply tap on them. You have unlimited ammo like a proper action hero, but unlike Schwarzenegger at the end of Commando, you do actually have to stop and reload at some point. To reload, or to avoid getting hit by enemy attacks, you simply don't touch anything. There are plenty of point bonuses to chain together, mini-bosses to take down, and lots of hard to hit bonus enemies lurking in the background.

To mix things up, you can utilize four different weapons; The default pistol, a machine gun, an automatic shotgun, and of course, a rocket launcher. While you'll probably want to use the rocket launcher non-stop once you pick it up, it's not as good as it seems. The splash damage is great, but it's also very picky and choosy about what it actually hits. It's also hard to hit fast moving or distant enemies. I'd recommend sticking with the machine gun if you can. You can take up to three hits before you're KIA, and each hit takes away a bit of armor, eventually leaving you shirtless, of course. In order to regain armor, you have to rescue innocent civilian scientists, and you'll get plenty of chances to do so. Over the course of your mission to save your girlfriend from the clutches of the Forces of Evil the game will take you through tropic jungles, across metropolitan rooftops, and into blazing deserts as you blast ninjas, well dressed agents, terrorists, SWAT, and even mummies that shoot lasers from their eyes. These over the top elements and references to classic action movies sets a great tone for the game, and really make it all worth it.

The graphics and animations are fluid and well done. The soundtrack is surprisingly epic too. This is a very well made game, but it's also very simple and repetitive. Getting through the game is really easy as long as you have some modicum of patience. The challenge comes from obtaining a perfect 3-medal score on each level. Game Center leaderboards help provide another layer of challenge. This is an iOS Universal game, and it's only one dollar. I'm loving all of these partnerships between [adult swim] and various developers. The production values are always top of the line, and even if the games aren't the best out there, they're always memorable and hilarious. This game is no exception, and I recommend it.

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