I was an Atomic Mutant!

I Was An Atomic Mutant casts you in the role of one of four giant monsters bent on destroying mankind and racking up points doing it. It’s pure arcade mayhem, and if you’re a fan of the kind of hyperbolic Atomic age giant monster movies they used to make fun of on Mystery Science Theater 3000, the setting and concept couldn’t be more enjoyable.

6_1Four beasties are available: There’s a 50 foot tall woman with a mean streak, a giant Brain that can transform people into ducksies and bears, a giant lizard named Reptomicus, and a one-eyed space monster piloting a giant attack robot which neatly riffs on both HG Wells and Kang and Kodos from The Simpsons. Each critter has five weapons that all pretty much do the same thing; destroy buildings and people. The game is in third-person and the goal in both the Arcade and Monster mode is to rack up points by destroying everything in your path. The former gives you three lives, and the latter gives you only one.

Gimmicks abound: you can click the right mouse button and watch yourself on the big screen (Movie Theater or Drive-In) in order to, as the manual puts it, “cheer yourself on,†(it’s impossible to play this way), and you can also play the whole game in grainy black and white. The problem is that developer Canopy Games seems to have spent their entire budget on clever extras like the terrific music and grainy previews that marry footage from real B-movies movies and in-game graphics. It just lacks the gameplay needed to back it all up.

It isn’t as fun as the cheesy movies that inspired it, or even as challenging as earlier takes on the concept like Crush, Crumble, & Chomp or Rampage. The result is four cool-looking monsters running through poorly rendered cities that blow up blandly, and arcade thrills nowhere near the level achieved by equally mindless arcade coin-ops.

System Requirements: Pentium II 233 MHz, 32 MB RAM, WinXP

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