Sunday, December 11, 2011

Grabatron - 0.99 (Future Games of London)

There are quite a few games revolving around aliens in the AppStore, but only a few of them offer up some really exciting gameplay that will keep you coming back again and again. Future Games Of London (Hungry Shark Series) has delivered just that. A mission based alien title that puts you in the drivers seat of a UFO, and keeps you coming back over and over, trying to better your previous score, and it has a pretty cool name to go with it; Grabatron.

You’ll be able to control a UFO by tilting your device, and tapping to unleash your claw, which can pick up anything from humans and pigs to tanks and huge boulders. I’m not generally someone who likes tilt controls, but there are a couple of games that just feel completely right with them, and Grabatron happens to be one of them. The world is spread into sections, with big mountains separating them. The thing is, if you fly too high, you’ll have to deal with swarming jets and other aircraft all trying to shoot you down, and they will, without a hitch. To get through the mountains, you’ll need to explore, and find the upgrades that are hidden in the first section. Armor upgrades, and a big claw upgrade, which lets you move the huge boulders blocking the entrance to the middle of the mountain.
While you’re exploring, looking for upgrades, you’ll sometimes come across animals or humans with green arrows above them. If you pick them up, you’ll get some health, as well as start a mission. For instance, if you pick up a cow with a green arrow above it, a mission might start where you’ll need to pick up 8 more cows in a certain amount of time. This is how you earn most of your points. While doing this, you’ll sometimes trigger multipliers, or short time shield power-ups. There are other missions that are triggered when picking up objects that do not have a green arrow above them, like if you pick up a tractor, a mission might start where you’ll need to kill a certain amount of farmers with that tractor before the tractor explodes.
The graphics are fantastic, with even the small humans having quite a bit of detail, as well as the signs, and you could even sit there and count the leaves on a tree if you were so inclined. It’s actually very impressive that the load times are not long at all, and the game runs super smooth with no lag or framerate drops at all. The animations are also great. If you fly close to the ground, dirt will be thrown up in the air, the humans and animals all walking around look great and the explosions are incredibly impressive. There’s also a cut scene at the beginning of the game which shows your UFO flying towards earth, and it looks fantastic.
Priced at $0.99, including GameCenter with a leaderboard and 41 achievements, with tons of missions, and crazy high replay value, Future Games Of London has delivered one of the best action games in the AppStore. Seeing a challenge mode, or maybe even multiplayer, trying to grab objects and toss them at the other player, taking down their UFO, or maybe even co-op play would make Grabatron amazing. Though, I might just be asking for too much there. If you’re looking for a great action/arcade title, and love the idea of exploration mixed with mission based game play, and don’t mind tilt controls, Grabatron is a game you should definitely pick up.


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