Live out your Mad Max fantasy in this monster-crushing runner from Glu.
Glu Games' Mutant Roadkill isn't the most polished mobile game, nor is it original, with inspiration clearly taken from Temple Run. On the flip side, it's mindless arcade fun in the vein of those old Cruis'n titles from Midway, but set within a post apocalyptic universe featuring graphics that bring to mind Borderlands and Rage. Ah yes, and there are mutants everywhere. What's not to like?
That said, Mutant Roadkill is a runner, and a damn good one, with enough unique elements to keep us glued to our iOS and Android devices. For starters, you take the wheel of a vehicle charging down streets littered with debris and monsters, where the goal is twofold: see how far you can travel without bursting into flames, and run over as many ugly mutants as possible while earning coins used to buy a plethora of upgrades. You see, it's sort of like Temple Run, except you get to kill things.
With this in mind, you encounter a small variety of enemies during your travels, from the low-level grunts that slowly wander into harm's way, to monsters that explode (avoid these guys) and the most annoying of all, the ones that latch onto your ride to tip that sucker over. This is where things become especially frantic, as you lightly graze burned-out vehicles to scrape them off.
Meanwhile, there's a meter on the left side of the screen tied to how many mutants you slaughter, and doing so in rapid succession results in combos. Fill the meter, and a slot machine appears, rewarding you with a bonus item, from an electro-shock bomb to nitrous and even a gun turret that's perfect for sniping mutants from a distance. On top of that, the game comes with side missions that yield surprises, but you won't be able to snag those until after death, when you select one from a bunch of similar-looking crates.
As for the controls, we can't say we're in love with the set-up, but it works fine all the same, as you tilt left and right to steer the vehicle through mutant-ville, then swipe to turn left or right when the opportunity arises. What makes this the slightest bit difficult is the fact that the car swerves, forcing you to examine the terrain and always be a few steps ahead. This isn't a flaw, necessarily. Just something you'll have to get used to.
Finally, you can download and play the game for free, but rest assured that Glu Games did this with the intent of selling virtual items and content packs for varying amounts. You don't need to spend real-world money to enjoy what's here, but if you despise freemium, we doubt this game will change your mind.
Aside from that, however, Mutant Roadkill's golden, or at the very least, a distinguished silver. We just had a blast charging down the highway turning mutants into red globs, and the fact that the game has leaderboards is icing on the limb-filled cake. Quality carnage for zero dollars. You know you want it.
What's Hot: Turning mutants into street pizza, earning bonus items, cool cell-shaded graphics, swerving to get mutants off the vehicle, free-to-play, leaderboards.
What's Not: Some graphical hiccups, heavy number of in-app purchases.