The Game: Major Mayhem
The Device: My dying Droid X, which now is useless as an actual phone
The Price: Free
The Basics: Major Mayhem is the kind of action hero we don’t see anymore, a throwback to a time when men were men, and men shot lots of minorities in foreign countries, preferably while smoking a cigar, shirtless.
The president himself lets the Major know that his girlfriend has been kidnapped and sends him off to get her back and protect freedom around the world via mass murder.
The Review: One more autorunner for the pile? Pretty much.
At the start of every level Major Mayhem will get dropped into a combat zone via helicopter and automatically run from left to right. Every so often he’ll stop and get behind cover and you’ll engage some enemies. It’s a shooting gallery, but a dynamic, 3D one. It feels a bit like the cover mechanic in Time Crisis, in fact.Tapping the screen will pop you out of cover and shoot at the spot indicated. Enemies will fire back at you but the only projectiles you have to worry about have a red halo around them. Those are the ones that will hit you and knock off your armor- first your helmet, then your shirt, and then you’re dead. Occasionally a hostage will pop up- don’t shoot them. If they survive they’ll give you armor, or coins if your armor is full.
The game is all about getting high “mayhem” scores to earn lots of coins, so tying together kills for a huge combo is key. You can do this by getting skill shots, like shooting off hats or killing an enemy immediately after they pop up, and shooting the various chickens you’ll find in between shooting galleries. (They deserve it.) A few bosses, power-ups and surprises await you along the way, including a few platforming sections that make you jump by tapping on the lower-right corner of the screen.
A few run and gun sections are less fun. Since you’re out of cover the only way to avoid getting shot is to jump over incoming bullets, but since you’ll be tapping to shoot the enemies at the same time it’s entirely possible to not see their shots coming because your thumb is obscuring them.
It’s simple and fun, and plenty of levels and modes await you. 45 unique levels split up over three worlds- the Tropics (Vietnam), Metropolis (New York), and Desert (Afghanistan/Iraq)- await you, each with the stereotypical enemies of that location. Besides just playing through them all in Classic mode you can play Time Bomb, in which you deal as much mayhem as possible in 60 seconds; Arcade mode, which randomizes the levels; or Survival, which has you trying to play through the whole campaign without dying. So there’s plenty of replay value here, especially considering that there’s 250 achievements and missions to complete along the way.
Coins earned let you choose from a massive amount of weapons to equip, as well clothes to make your character to make him look cool and/or silly. Action movie fans will find outfits that make the Major look like Rambo, Walker: Texas Ranger or John McClane. And of course if you don’t want to earn coins in game you can always buy more. It doesn’t push it on you, although it will occasionally highlight a cool item you can afford with your coins.
Adult Swim has been really making some really addictive mobile games and Major Mayhem is no exception. A bit of the irreverent mixed up with a simple shooter and plenty of references for action movie fans, all for free, makes for a no-brainer download.
The Final Grade: B