In my first impressions tweet of ShockRods, by Stainless Games, I said it reminded me of the Playstation game Twisted Metal. I don't have much experience with Twisted Metal, except playing at my friend's place many years ago. However, I remember it being fun and crazy. You drove around in a crazy Hot Wheels type of car and it was basically last car standing. After playing Shock Rods for a little while longer, it still reminds me of Twisted Metal. I wouldn't say it is not a Twisted Metal clone at all, but a new addition to the genre.
In Shock Rods, you are a car, or Shockrod, driving through different environments trying to survive by not be destroyed by the other Shockrods. You do this by not getting hit by their weapons, and destroying the other rods with weapons you collect. That is the basic goal of the game.
When you start a game you choose between online play with other people or offline where you play against bots. While I did seem to have a couple of long waits when connecting to an online game, I aways found a match. This is more than I can say for another online game in Arcade.
There are several different game scenarios that you can get dropped into. These include deathmatch, team deathmatch, capture the flag, shock ball, and golden ram. I have randomly played all except for shock ball. The gameplay video below is from the golden ram scenario. (As you can see I'm not the greatest player yet, but I think it will improve over time).
In addition to the various modes, there are various locations. You can play in a lava pit or in the mountains or several other locations. You can also customize your vehicle in various options to make it your own style.
Overall, gameplay is fun. However, I did find controlling my vehicle to be a bit tricky, even with a controller. It was definitely easier with a controller, but still not easy. Gameplay is also fast and furious. You can't blink or you might be destroyed. I would not recommend playing this on an iPhone. The screen is too small and in my opinion the game is too hard to follow on the small screen.
One big complaint is the lack of a map while you are playing. It would be nice to have a map of the playing area that also showed where the enemy and friendly vehicles were. Without the map I was just driving around blindly trying to find my targets. Once I did find a target it was hard to tell if it was friendly or an enemy. I just ended up shooting at whatever crossed my path.
My other complaint is that you get dropped into the areas without any directions on how to play that particular game scenario. The name of the match is displayed, but a summary of the goal would be a little helpful.
With those complaints aside, ShockRods is still a fun game. Fans of Twisted Metal will definitely find it enjoyable and so will other fans of games of this genre. Is it perfect? I would say no, but it is worth downloading and trying out. I feel like it is one of those games that you need to constantly play and get used to thoroughly enjoy.
AArcade Review Rating: 3.5 out of 5
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