With Christmas comes gift cards and this year was no exception. So with gift card in hand, I browsed the App Store to see what looked interesting and found a game that hit a true sweet spot – Colossatron.
Colossatron: Massive World Thread, as it’s officially called, came out just before Christmas and gives a wonderful mashup of classic color matching, tower defense and complete chaos. I have to admit that I thought Colossatron was going to be something different based on what I saw in screenshots, so I was a little surprised at first but the fun had over the following 48-hours certainly made up for it.
You can’t go wrong with robots
Colossatron is a giant robot snake trying to destroy the world and you have to help it fend off military defenses like tanks, helicopters and other big guns. Each section of Colossatron, or “power core,” offers a different type of weapon while also being color coded as red, blue or yellow. These power cores appear on the screen and you have snap them into place on Colossatron…and this is where the puzzle part of the game kicks in.
You can combine colors and sequences to create other weapons. For example, if you snap in a yellow core next to a blue core, it becomes a green core. Snap three of the same color next to each other and they combine to form a single, more powerful core of that color. Not only can just getting your cores into the right spot be a challenge but the strategy behind the colors will have to change throughout each level. Sure, you can just snap core after core on to Colossatron and have a really long snake, but single cores don’t hold up well against attack as you progress, so you need to think about combinations and upgrades.
Along the way you’ll pick up one-off power-ups like smart bombs, shields and rapid fire to help you, but they can be destroyed too so you have to pay attention. As you pass levels and move around the globe, you’ll be able to add special abilities to Colossatron, all in effort to make him more destructive. Of course, as with every game these days, you earn in-game currency that can be used to purchase upgrades. And you can buy those credits with real cash if you’re in a hurry. However, Colossatron is truly a game that you can finish (and have fun) without spending any extra money.
High quality build
Colossatron is a well-polished game. It’s got great arcade graphics, nice sounds and otherwise just looks sharp on my iPad. If Colossatron lacks anything it’s actual game play, which might be a turn off for some people. When I saw the screenshots, I figured you could control the giant Colossatron snake but it’s exact opposite. The robot snake moves around each level on its own, twisting and winding its way around enemies, sometimes in positions that leaves you incredibly vulnerable. The game play is really limited to catching power cores and building your snake’s weapons up. It’s a tried-and-true game mechanic that has some wonderful window dressing. Of course, trying to control the Colossatron snake while also trying to collect power cores would be a little too much, I think, so this is probably the best balance of play.
However, even though Colossatron might seem light on actual interaction, it never feels cheap. The action of collecting cores and figuring out the best method for attack was enough to keep me playing this game solid for several days until I completed it. The ridiculous destruction showcased in the game is a pleasure to watch even if you’re not in control. I completed the first campaign over a few days. You can prestige after the first end, making bad guys stronger and making you destroy the world again, but Colossatron also offers an endless “survival mode” that has kept me busy since reaching the campaign end.
The currency exchange in Colossatron is maybe the only thing that really needs adjusting. The cost of power-ups and extras is really high considering how rarely you earn them while playing the game properly. Like I said, you can complete the game without spending extra money but it would be nice to see a little more in-game payout.
All things considered, Colossatron is a really fun game, especially on a tablet. It’s well worth the dollar price tag and I hope they offer more levels via an update or even purchase. I would happily drop more money to get new levels, features, etc. rather than have to prestige. Of course, I would have also rather paid $5 to get a complete Colossatron game without any in-game purchasing, but I know that’s rare these days.