Games for the mobile community are notoriously difficult to get right. You can have a game that looks quite good, but is in fact a buggy nightmare and a disaster to play, or there are the games that are great to play, but look a bit like a reject from the days of the ZX Spectrum. Only a certain few games manage to get the balance between controls & graphics. Unfortunately Destructopus doesn’t quite fall into that category, but it’s a really good effort.
In Destructopus you play as a rampaging monster who has just received the wake up call from hell, namely an off-shore oil drill into the head – ouch! Clearly a bit aggrieved by this intrusion you stick your head up to find the planet in a bit of a state, namely down to those pesky humans. As an environmental activist you decide to take some direct action and destroy as many buildings, cities, power plants and factories as you can and if those humans try and stop you. Well, you have woken up hungry, so they probably deserve it.
The game takes place over four zones covering city, forest, desert and wasteland, with each zone containing five levels. You trample through each level destroying what you can using three basic attacks; swipe with your claw, chomp with your mouth or shoot a laser beam out of your eye. As the destructible environment is different you will need to use all three to get the most points. Some buildings are higher and require a mouth chomp, others are lower and need a swipe and some require a bit of both.
Of course the homo-sapiens aren’t about to let you destroy all they have built and will fight back in the form of soldiers shooting at you, as well as tanks, attack choppers and fighter jets. These also require a combination of the three attack moves to kill.
You control the monster using an onscreen set of buttons, a joystick in the left hand corner and the three attack buttons on the right hand side. Your monster can move forwards, shuffle backwards and duck. Duck is used to avoid certain enemy attacks and it’s at this point that the game moves from easy pastime to frustratingly annoying.
The controls themselves are a little bit flimsy, you will find yourself pressing the same button a few times because you didn’t press it in the right place, the aiming for the laser beam is tricky to get right and you’ll miss targets more than you will hit them. At the start the amount of enemies on the screen is at a manageable level, however as you progress it becomes more and more difficult to actually avoid any attacks successfully due to the amount of rockets/bullets heading towards you at the same time.
The control scheme and the abundance of enemies on screen do let this game down. Early on you can see the fun the developers had creating it, sending a stack of storage tanks flying to squash three people as they run for their lives. The game also looks great, with smooth running graphics and a fair bit of detail. The sound of the game is ok, in the menu screens you’ll have a riff of guitar music playing however in game there’s no music at all, just the screams and squishes of the human racing fleeing.
Glitchsoft seem to be committed to this game and are in the progress of preparing other modes and updates for it, maybe in one of those they will update the control scheme to something a bit more manageable.
Destructopus is made by Glitchsoft Corporation and is currently free on the App Store.