There's a lot to be angry about these days; rising gas prices, corrupt politicians, or any other cliché you can think of. And what better way to release that anger than by raining destruction onto a tiny mountain hamlet? Mountain Maniac, the newest game from [adult swim] and PixelJam, is here to fulfill all of your village decimating desires.
The titular character of Mountain Maniac is one angry lumberjack! You would be too, if you kept getting maple syrup stuck in your beard all the time. Help this little guy vent his rage by moving him around with the [arrow] and by creating boulders with the [X] key. Keep the button held longer for a bigger boulder, and let go when the hammer is red for maximum destruction. Once the boulder is rolling, it can be controlled to a limited degree with the [arrow] keys. As you wreak havoc on the landscape, you'll fill your rage meter, which will grant you more control over the boulder. Make it to the bottom of the mountain and destroy as much of the unsuspecting village as you can. You'll have five boulders to annihilate a certain percentage of the town, after which the police will come up the mountain after you. Increasing levels provide more police, but they can be fended off by hitting the [X] key to swat them away with your hammer. Each consecutive level requires you to destroy more of the city, and will send more police to stop you at the end. Fail to destroy enough or get caught by the police and you lose a life, after losing two lives it's game over.
Analysis: Destruction is fun! There's something to be said about games that let you take out all of your pent up anger, especially when you get to take it out on an unsuspecting village. And the pachinko-style gameplay as you're rolling the boulder down the mountain makes it more than just a simple smash-and-destroy type of game. My biggest gripe is with the amount of luck involved. It's great to have a limited control over the boulder, but there's nothing worse than getting it stuck on a ledge and not being able to make it roll away, no matter how much you blow on your monitor. But aside from that minor quibble, I never felt as if I was tasked with doing the impossible. It can get difficult to reach that destruction level, but it never feels like it's completely un-doable. And it's nice that even when you don't destroy the city, you still get a chance to redeem yourself in a way that would make Ice-T proud.
As with all PixelJam games, graphics and music are completely 8-bit-tastic. Either you'll love them or you won't, but if you're from the generation that knows what a Battletoad is, this will probably be right up your alley. So if you're in the mood for an elegant, well thought-out game... you're out of luck. But if you want to drop rocks on eagles, we've got you covered!