Pollushot Review

Pollushot Review

Oct 24, 2011

For most of us, the “battle” against pollution is just a metaphor; you’re not literally battling smog and toxic waste. Unless you’re Captain Planet, of course. But in Pollushot, you’re using fire to fight fire against an unusual array of machines that are constantly billowing out toxic smoke and chemicals.

Pollushot is a unique take on the shooter genre where you aren’t simply mashing the “attack” button to unleash a hail of bullets. Instead, you must catch bits of falling pollution and sling-shot them back at the enemy machines. The bits of pollution come in a variety of colors and behave different depending on color. It requires a little more strategy than you might be used to.

The gameplay can get intense as you get into the game. Trying to catch the bits of pollution while avoiding the enemy and its attacks requires a lot of precision movement. You move by touching the screen and dragging your slingshot around, making it easy to avoid most obstacles. However, because you shoot by touching the sling-shot and dragging it backwards, you might have more than a little trouble getting the sling-shot to respond correctly. Trying to move the sling-shot out of harm’s way quickly can be an impossible task if you don’t get it just right. In some cases, you might even end up pulling back the sling-shot instead of moving it, leaving it completely vulnerable to enemy attacks.

Pollushot features a rather unusual musical selection in “Danse Macabre,” a familiar tune that doesn’t quite fit in with the fast-paced gameplay. At times, the music can even slow the pace of the game, removing any sense of urgency that a more fitting soundtrack might bring to the game. Aside from the music, the sound effects are nice and make a perfect fit with what’s happening on the screen. The graphics look great and animate very smoothly.

Pollushot is certainly a different kind of game with an interesting premise and some unique gameplay, but it lacks in several areas. Notably, the spotty controls and the repetitive enemy types you’ll encounter as you play through each round. Furthermore, you need to achieve an extremely high number of points before you can progress to the next set of levels. You’ll more than likely find yourself fighting against the types enemies for a long time before unlocking the next level, which can become tedious and boring. And then, even if you do manage to unlock the next level, it’s just going to be more of the same, but with new enemy types.

While I don’t doubt many will enjoy the game despite the unusual controls and gameplay mechanic, I found myself not enjoying it at all. It’s certainly a novel game, with plenty of achievements and OpenFeint integration to keep you going, but with some tweaks and minor improvements, I think it could be a much better game.

Pollushot Review Rundown

Graphics/Sound - The fun visuals and special effects go a long way towards making this game stand out. However, a song like "Danse Macabre" seems an unusual choice for an action game. Parts of the song slow down and remove the sense of urgency a game like this needs. It just seems very out of place.
Controls - I really have to say, I wasn't too impressed by the controls in this game. It seems like they had a tendency of pulling to the left a bit, making it difficult to aim. What's worse is when you try to drag the slingshot out of harm's way and end up pulling the shot back, instead, leaving you helpless to crash into oncoming objects. Pollushot feature an alternate control method, but it's really not much better. In fact, I found it to be worse.
Gameplay - Changing things up from your "standard shooter," Pollushot requires a bit more strategy than most games in that genre. Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of the slingshot mechanic, despite the unique challenge it presents.
Replay Value - One of the bigger problems I had with Pollushot is that there isn't enough variety to keep things interesting. As you go round after round, you're constantly engaging the same enemies over and over. Meanwhile, getting to the next level requires such a high amount of points that you need to be very good at this game in order to get there.
Overall - I can't exactly say I enjoyed my time with Pollushot. It's an interesting game with a unique take on the shooter genre, but the slingshot mechanic didn't grow on me. Nor did the repetitive enemy types and odd musical selection. Thankfully, you can just turn down the music, but there isn't much hope for the other problems.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Dale Culp
Dale Culp has been writing about video games in print and on the web for the better part of the last 10 years. From the Atari 2600 to the Xbox 360 and beyond, he's covered just about everything. You'll find his work in places such as TheWeekender.com, GoLackawanna.com, Gamesylvania.com, EscapistMagazine.com and even IGN.com
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