When I first saw the trailer for Super Mutant Alien Assault, I thought to myself “Well, this looks crazy”. In a good way though, not in the homicidal maniac in a horror movie kinda way. My initial thoughts were correct. The craziness that Fellow Traveller Games created with Super Mutant Alien Assault makes for an addictive, fast paced game that is good for someone looking for a game that can be played in short stints and often.

Be prepared for non-stop jumping and shooting!

Super Mutant Alien Assault is a procedurally generated platformer/ shmup hybrid. The game consists of three Galaxies broken down into four levels each. These levels feature several different modes and chosen at random, and each one involves dodging and fighting hordes of aliens.

There is a mode called ‘Pressure’ in which you have to release pressure valves randomly before they explode. This mode reminds in some ways of the Survival mode in Warframe in that you have to touch cylinders to keep going. The other modes are ‘Thruster’ and ‘Hyperdrive’ in which you need to collect items from point A and bring them to point B. Lastly, the final two modes are called ‘Survive’ and ‘Vanquish’ and involve defeating enemies.

Each time you start up a new game you can choose from a different character and different starting items. As you clear more levels, you unlock more characters and starting items. You can use these to your advantage to hopefully make it further on each successive run.

Super Mutant Alien Assault is very hard and you likely won’t get far your first time

The deck is stacked against you in Super Mutant Alien Assault. It is a hard game, plain and simple. Also, you have a limited ammo supply, limited movement options, and no choice in weapons. These limitations combine with waves of enemies and it makes for a rough time. That being said, Super Mutant Alien Assault is a lot of fun and the more you play, the easier it gets. So do not fret if you get smacked around your first dozen or so tries. For example, once I unlocked the dash move as a starting item I was able to dodge aliens easier and therefore progress further. When you run out of ammo from your weapon or explosives you can gather more from nodes in the level. However, you sometimes get a weapon you don’t like. You also have to wait to go back to the well, so to speak.

I am not a fan of Dubstep, but I have the soundtrack to Super Mutant Alien Assault stuck in my head

The retro style graphics and music mesh together well. I played it on Nintendo Switch, and I didn’t have any issues with frame rate. In addition, I really dig the retro art style. The aliens look like the ones you would see in a game from the 16-bit era. The simple movements don’t distract the player from focusing on the task at hand. This is helpful since you really need to pay attention to the when and where you jump and move to.

Overall, Super Mutant Alien Assault is a difficult but fun game. It doesn’t have pretenses about what it is not and embraces what it is. That is a simple game with difficult gameplay but designed to keep the player coming back over and over again. If you are looking for a game with a deep story that engages you, than you should look elsewhere. That is not to say that Super Mutant Alien Assault is not engaging, quite the opposite in fact. The draw here is that it is a game you can play for short periods of time, and come back to frequently without forgetting what is going on. You may need to shake off the rust on some of your skills if you take a prolonged break though as muscle memory and repetition are big parts of Super Mutant Alien Assault.

If you want a game you can play for half an hour and not miss anything, or a game that you can play and lose a few hours in than you should check out Super Mutant Alien Assault. It’s fun and addicting. It’s available on Steam, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and now, Nintendo Switch. I recommend checking it out if you like a challenge. I give it a 3.5/5.

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