Dec 31, 2013
Meltdown takes the isometric action game and applies a cool feature to it: casual online co-op.
Really, the premise is quite simple: players control a space marine who’s shooting robots that get in his way, collecting coins and other baubles along the way. Coins and chips collected can be used for upgrades, of course. XP is earned and unlocks new skill points for players. Players are outfitted with two weapons and a melee attack. It’s all pretty familiar action game trappings, for better or for worse.
The Android version of Meltdown is free-to-play, and while coins, chips, and 1ups can all be obtained in-game, they are easier to get via purchasing, of course. As well, the game makes it so that levels have to be completed in order for any loot to be retained, so those 1ups become rather important no matter what. Chips are uncommon, and are required for weapon upgrades. So, long-term players might want to prepare to drop a few bucks down on the game to keep up with the Joneses.
What Meltdown succeeds at is two-fold: one, it exists as a game that is great with a controller, but still feels playable on a touchscreen. The use of multitouch and gestures to make the control scheme work is really quite ingenious; it also probably encourages players to play more cautiously than they would if they have a controller, because using cover is a bit more intuitive in that way. But still, the game is great with a gamepad.
The other thing this game does is to solve the real-time multiplayer problem on mobile: the co-op play is very casual, allowing strangers to drop in quickly to help finish a level, or for friends to find a game and help out. It allows for the kinds of short sessions that mobile reuires, but it doesn’t restrict the kind of fun that real-time multiplayer can provide. And shooting hordes of robots is more fun with others. The loot system provides each player with their own spoils, so there’s no competing over who gets what, which is important because hey, lag can be a concern with people all over the world on wireless connections. Oh, and it’s all cross-platform.
While Meltdown is a little generic, it carries out its mission statement well.