Being a superhero can’t be easy. Take the star of Mediatonic’s new title, Who’s That Flying?! (quite literally abbreviated to WTF?!). As Guardian of Earth, not only does he have to contend with defeating the waves of alien invaders threatening various cities, he also has to justify himself to the Intergalactic Space Council when he’s accused of negligence for allowing them to invade in the first place. In a twist, the set up for the game is based upon his testimony to the Galactic Council, in a court room drama. Picture it as Perry Mason meets Superman. In space. With a touch of Judge Judy.
Primarily a side scrolling shooter at heart, the game also features an element of Tower Defence. It’s an interesting twist, with the idea being to destroy the alien enemies before they make it off the side of the screen. Along with the counter in the corner which tells you how many chances remain before the city is destroyed, in a nice touch the skyscape of towers and buildings in the background also becomes visibly damaged. Let too many through and it’s game over.
While The Guardian is invincible he can be stunned, allowing enemies to slip pass, so the player will need to be pretty quick to take out the various enemy formations.
Not only that but bigger enemies also get introduced along the way, serving to act as interference, purposely designed to stun the player and leave enough room for the smaller monsters to slip by. His invulnerability means that The Guardian can also get up close and personal with smaller enemies, literally ripping them apart and causing a chain reaction of explosions with surrounding enemies. In fact some of the larger enemies (especially the hulking great big end of Stage bosses) require this up close and personal approach and some button tapping in order to finish them off.
By successfully dispatching enemies The Guardian will build up his special attack meter which can be used to unleash speed shots or larger laser beams. This is especially handy for dispatching larger groups of enemies but isn’t a one stop solution, since letting enemies slip by causes it to reset.
With the action pitched just right between the two genres to avoid being a mess and offering enough of a challenge to keep you entertained for some time, WTF?! continues Mediatonic’s unique brand of humour. There’s some mirthsome lines spouted during the court room scenes which should raise a smile in between tearing into the invading hoards, and with several levels to tackle there’s enough to keep you entertained for a while, perhaps more so than their previous game of Monsters (Probably) Stole my Princess.
If you’d baulked at the prospect of mixing the two genres together, WTF?! proves that it works, and is a lot of fun to boot. At the same time Mediatonic demonstrate why they’re one of the better developers using the Minis platform and you’d could certainly do far worse than grab WTF?!