the Puny Humans!
year is 1958. You and your steady are sitting in the balcony,
peering through red and green lenses as a 50-foot woman
stomps, pummels, and wails against a small town. Through
the green eye, you see and feel the desperation of each
panicking teen, each wizened commander, and each badly-dubbed
Asian. But through the red eye, you see powerful fists and
frightful energy blasts gleefully laying waste to all in
By Dante Murphy
Was an Atomic Mutant!" (www.atomicmutant.com)
is a red-eye game. Like a B-movie for your PC, every detail
is chock-full of vintage campy goodness. From the tactile
joys of the Technicolor® package to the
opening pastiche of stock film footage and clever text,
it's a time-traveling joyride back to the drive-ins of
the post-war years.
watching the opening movie (twice, because it's such a
hoot), it's time to dive into the destruction. Choose
your monster and some simple game settings, then get ready
Destroy the Puny Humans!
will want to select the "Tingling" difficulty
level and the "Arcade" game setting, which allows
the player to re-incarnate a couple times while becoming
familiar with the game and the nuances of each monster.
The weapons vary for each mutant, though all have the
ability to throw cows, co-eds, and classic cars quite
a distance. (Please do not try this at homeespecially
with classic cars!)
will soon learn the difference between the punch of the
She-Beast and the Death-Ray of the Alien Robot, from the
energy they expend to the damage they deliver. The "Destruct-O-Meter"
measures progress in each stage, while life force and energy
are tracked as well. Fear not if your monster fatigues or
is beset with bullets and missiles; colored "radiation"
symbols offer renewed health, energy, and even invincibility!
level starts with the mutant on the outskirts of a town,
city or complex, and the goal is to enact complete destruction
without falling victim to the meager weapons of the Puny
Humans. The default view in the game is semi-first-person,
where you are immediately behind the monster you control,
but you can toggle in and out of "Canopy Vision,"
which lets you watch from a theater or drive-in as your
monster zaps and crumbles. The hysterical and peculiar
cries of your victims ("Has anybody seen Steve?")
punctuate the destruction over each mutant's custom soundtrack.
To really put you in the vintage mood, you can even play
and extra lives accumulate at a manageable pace, and though
the premise of the game never changes, the joy likewise
never fades. If sales are good, the creators at Canopy
Games promise a second version that will permit multiple
players to raze and ravage. Everything is more fun with
a well-rendered parody of B-movie mayhem is up your alley,
hoard a couple of these in your fallout shelter. You'll
be glad you did.
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