Reviewed: May 8, 2010
Released: April 22, 2010
App Store Price: $.99
Atlantis is the fabled legendary island that has been featured in many a book, movie and game. The newest source to feature this underwater tale is Atlantis: Legend of the Mermaids, not related to the PC adventure titles, for the iPhone and iTouch. Atlantis brings me back to the golden generation of gaming, when games were NES Hard and you either broke your controller in anguish or stuck it out and relished the achievement of completing it.|
In Atlantis: Legend of the Mermaids, an ordinary office worker with a boring job receives an SOS email from mermaids. Being a true adventure seeking man you give up everything and go halfway across the world to seek out the truth. Once you get there, you find that mermaids are real just shortly before they are whisked away from you by evil sea creatures. It is your job to get them back.
The interface and controls for Atlantis: Legend of the Mermaids are incredibly clean and simple with two on-screen virtual analog sticks. The controls look like an old ship wheel and move in the direction that you are moving in. The left stick controls player movement while the right fires your weapon in all 8 directions, which can save your butt at times.
The basic principal of Atlantis: Legend of the Mermaids is simple - take out the enemies that stand in your way as you progress through different stages. Players start out with a basic spear gun and go to town on the underwater menace that is between you and a bunch of sassy mermaids. As you take out the enemies you are rewarded with gems and jewels that make up your source of cash. You use the cash to upgrade your weapons, buy new ones as well as ammunition, health and oxygen in the underwater caves.
Some of the weapons that you can get donít exactly make much sense underwater but as I think about it now its just plain comical. Using an electric gun underwater on fish monsters is both ironic if not awesome. There are all kinds of weapons to use including a machine gun, rocket launcher, stun stick and multi-spear launcher.
In the ďtrue manĒ fashion your character neglected to wear any scuba equipment so occasionally you will have to swim to the surface to recharge your oxygen meter. While you are partially above water you are safe from attack. But recharging your oxygen isnít the only thing gained from surfacing. Various people in rowboats will randomly throw out items such as health, ammo and the occasional secret weapon that isnít available in the shops.
Graphically, Atlantis: Legend of the Mermaids is colorful and very comic book style in appearance. The cartoony detail is comical yet sharp. I also really like the day/evening/night cycle that happens as you move from level to level. But perhaps the biggest thing are the bloody pieces of fish the shower the ocean floor as you take out your enemies which there is a large variety of. The background music and sound effects are what I liked most about Atlantis: Legend of the Mermaids. The effects for each weapon and creature sound really good. The ominous music is what really takes the cake though. Itís perfect for a run and gun under the deep blue.
Atlantis: Legend of the Mermaids features two modes of gameplay, Story Mode and Survival Mode. In Story Mode players must make their way through 20 stages of fishy madness with a boss at the end of each stage section. Upon starting the game for the first time you are given a choice of which mode you want to do. This does prove a bit ironic because you canít play the Survival Mode until you manage to beat the game. There are three available difficulties for players to try their hand at. The challenge that Atlantis holds is that there are no second tries here. When you die you go right back to the beginning to start all over.
At the end of my aquatic run I found Atlantis: Legend of the Mermaids to be both very challenging and fun. Itís comical presentation and solid controls make it a joy to play. I definitely recommend spending the 99 cents for this underwater adventure.