Super Mutant Alien Assault (Nintendo Switch Review)

Super Mutant Alien assault is a single screen platform shoot em up, which features some rogue-ish elements in an attempt to keep each run fresh and unique. It achieves this to a point, but it doesn’t take long to see everything the game has to offer.

Thats not to say its a bad game per-se, just that it feels like it half committed to an idea and with some more time in the oven, could have been an even better experience.

The game starts with a short introduction story of aliens destroying the earth and then chasing the last 3 craft that managed to escape with the final traces of humanity on them, to 3 corners of the galaxy. The last line of defence before the final destruction of the human race is a small defence droid and this is where you come in.

A short hop across the Galaxy

Each of the 4 levels in the 3 galaxies take place on a single screen which is randomised from a larger pool of screen layouts for each play through, meaning whilst the levels do start to repeat with multiple playthroughs, you are never quite sure what order you are going to get them in. This idea is…. ok to a point, but with so few levels, it’s never quite as effective as it should be. A level can vary from wiping out all the enemies, to having to move power cells from one place to another.

Graphics are bright and colourful

You start un-armed though most levels will include weapons and explosive caches that allow you to grab a weapon. Ammo is incredibly scarce, so you still have to be careful how gung-ho you are as once you take a weapon, the cache is locked down for a short time meaning you are both stuck with the one you randomly drew for a period and if you do run out of ammo, your are at the mercy of your dodging skills until you can grab another.

The lottery of the weapon draw is an interesting mechanic, but only 2 or 3 of the weapons are useful in such a small environment and drawing one that you don’t like using is annoying. You can also find crates with side arms in, but you can only use these when your main weapon is exhausted. Crates also contain small augmentations, like speed boosts and double jumps, so they are always worth tracking down.

Super Hard Alien Assault

Personally, I found the game pretty tricky. I’m not great at reaction shooters like this and I found myself becoming increasingly frustrated – especially by the tanky boss encounters which happen every 4th level, but your mileage may vary. I’m sure people will leave comments saying they completed it in 3 minutes! 

Environments tend to look similar

Something did keep pulling back though. The polished graphics pop off the screen and are colourful and really nicely  animated. The controls worked well for the most part, although for me there were just a button or two too many needed in such a simple game. The fast reactions and virtually every button having a purpose in the game meant my fingers were in a twist a lot of the time. A big shout out to the music score in this game too, the dubstep tunes suit the fast paced action perfectly.

VERDICT

Overall Super Mutant Alien Assault is tricky shoot em up with rogue like elements and some excellent presentation. There is an ongoing unlock system with new weapons and abilities unlocking as you collect certain numbers of shields by clearing stages. This works ok, but again, feels a bit half hearted and something we’ve seen time and again. My biggest issues with the game were the sometimes frustrating difficulty and what would have given it some legs for me would absolutely be either leaderboards or a daily run mode, neither of which are here. You can unlock an endless mode by  completing the game, but its little solace.

Its nicely priced for what there is here though and certainly a game you should consider picking up if you like platform shooters.

SCORE: 6.5/10

  • RELEASE DATE: July 12th 2019
  • PRICE: $9.99 / £7.99
  • PUBLISHER: Cybernate
  • DEVELOPER: Surprise Attack
  • eShop Link

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