Take the destruction and human-crushing glee of classic mega-monster game Rampage, make it a side-scrolling iOS game, throw in some adorable animals in distress and you've got the highly entertaining Destructopus!, now available for iPhone and iPod touch.
Destructopus! puts you in control of a massive sea beast, the titular Destructopus. Awoken from his centuries-long undersea slumber by "greedy industrialists", the cyclopian terror lays waste to man, machine and skyscraper by scrolling to the right, crushing whatever lies in his path.
The destruction of those greedy industrialists, polluters and cute animal kidnappers, is Destructopus' only concern. So expect to crush everything you see.
Touchscreen controls are relatively simple and thankfully precise. Simply move Destructopus forward or backward with a pair of onscreen arrows, tap elsewhere to claw and bite. Duck to avoid projectiles. Infantrymen, tanks, helicopters and more than a dozen other enemies will stand in your way, launching missiles, taking potshots and generally being a nuisance.
There's a distinct Rampage-inspired vibe here, as Destructopus' health will slowly drain under constant fire from ant-sized humans and their war machines.
Destructopus features an upgrade system that will bestow more destructive powers on the player. You'll quickly get access to powerful eye lasers that will take down aircraft and an in-game store lets you spend collectible currency on other optional upgrades: speed boosts, better armour, improved health, faster attacks.
Unfortunately, some upgrades like the flame breath require players to spend actual cash via in-app purchases. They're mixed in with the other upgrades, something of a pet peeve of mine. But if you'd like to turn this two dollar game into a five dollar game, upgrade away. (Some players may find the option to buy a playable giant panda too hard to resist.)
That minor irritation aside, Destructopus! is a charming diversion. It's bright, it's colourful and quickly addictive, a game with a lighthearted environmental message that's primarily about the thrill of mass destruction and saving adorable, defenceless wildlife.
Destructopus! from GlitchSoft is available now via iTunes for $2.49.