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.