Metal Slug comes to iPhone, sort of, in this tank-blasting, platform hopping adventure.
Hop into your tank and annihilate enemies in Heavy Mach, one of the iPhone's most impressive looking apps. Set in a world ravaged by war, this 2-D game lets you maneuver a combat tank armed with a machine gun and a plethora of other weapons. As you explore the battle-ravaged environments, you'll encounter attack choppers, rival tanks, mortars and a host of other enemy vehicles hell bent on your destruction. A couple issues, however, keep it from greatness.
Heavy Mach looks and plays similar to SNK's Metal Slug series, except instead of using a d-pad to move around, you slide right and left by tilting the iPhone in those directions and tapping the right side of the screen to fire. You can also adjust the trajectory of your shots by sliding a finger up and down the screen, while pressing the lever on the lower left hand corner makes your tank jump (tap it again to execute a double jump). This proves useful in not only avoiding enemy fire, but also hopping over bottomless pits and snagging hard to reach items. Sure, a jumping tank sounds ridiculous, but the feature comes in handy when faced with incoming missiles.
As you shred your foes with the tank's machine gun, you'll eventually acquire new weapons like bombs, multi-shelled bursts and even a combat laser. Switching between them is easy, thanks to the weapons icon along the bottom of the screen, and although ammo is scarce, you should be able to make it out alive providing you use it intelligently.
In addition, you'll be able to upgrade your tank's abilities to make it a more efficient killing machine. Boosts in maneuverability, defense and attack will give you a fighting chance against waves of baddies.
Whenever you encounter large numbers of enemies or a giant boss, the game's speed significantly decreases. Although it doesn't feel like slow motion, it's noticeable and something we hope gets fixed in a future update. We're also not fans of the boss fights, particularly the first. It takes so long to chip away at its energy that we almost passed out from boredom. Finally, there's no way to pause the game, since the Menu button on the top left doesn't respond to touch.
These gripes regrettably kept Heavy Mach from receiving a higher score. We love the detailed 2-D graphics, the platform elements and all the explosions, but the game's developer(s) needs to make some tweaks. Since none of our complaints ruin the game, we recommend Heavy Mach if the thought of blowing things up with a canon excites you.
What's Hot: Metal Slug inspired gameplay, excellent controls, plenty of destructive weapons, sharp looking graphics.
What's Not: Crazy slowdown, boss fights make us sleepy, Menu button does nothing.