BioBeasts: Mutate & Destroy
Developer: Artix Entertainment LLC | Publisher: Artix Entertainment LLC | Release Date: 2016 | Genre: Arcade-Survival | Website: Official Website | Purchase: iTunes | Size: 247 MB | Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. | Version: 1.5.3 | Price: Free
When robots run amok and capture hapless creatures for their evil experiments they end up biting off a little more than they can chew. After the experimental chemicals used on them by the robots mutant them into fearsome beasts, the creatures use their newfound strength to try and escape the heavily guarded facility. Of course, the robots are not just going to stand by idly and watch their guinea pigs run off, so they throw everything they have at the BioBeasts in an attempt to recapture them. Whether the BioBeasts manage to fight their way to freedom or not depends on you.
BioBeasts: Mutate & Destroy is a arcade-survival style game where all you need to succeed is quick reflexes and a bit of luck. You start out with the metal jawed beast, aptly named “Bio Hazard”, but other unique creatures, such as Bionic Bunny, Baby Yeti and Toxic Mantis are all waiting in the wings to be unlocked. It doesn’t matter which creature you use though, your only goal is to destroy every single enemy that crosses your path.
Gameplay wise BioBeasts couldn’t be any simpler. Battles take place on a static screen with your creature standing in the middle of a four-way corridor. Enemies come pouring in from all four directions and the only thing they have on their mind is recapturing your creature. Some will rush straight at you, some will creep in slowly while lobbing projectiles, while others can even teleport around. Except for creatures, such as Salamancer who can spit fire, most of the creatures are limited to using their claws or fists to take down enemies. This means you have to let them get in close before you can take them down. Initially enemies will slowly traipse towards you while taking turns to attack, but as you progress through the waves they start posing a bigger threat. Most of the time you will be surrounded by enemies on all sides and will have to quickly assess where to prioritize your attacks. Make the wrong call and an enemy will get in a hit while your back is turned. The need to not only be quick with your attacks, but also watch incoming enemies closely to see where to hit gives the game an almost rhythm-action feel. Good timing is essential and you’ll also have to get used to the attack styles of various enemies to know how to best deal with them. Landing successful hits in succession builds up a combo meter, which is tied to certain mutations which we will discuss later. This means that simply button mashing will not only get you killed quicker, but will also make combos impossible.
There is no shortage of enemies who want to take you down in BioBeasts, but amongst all the hostility there is at least one friendly face. His name is Plink and he is a sympathetic robot who decided to aid in your escape. Plink isn’t designed for combat, but he does help you out in other ways. The most useful are the battle mutations that Plink provides between attack waves and these can really turn the tide in your favor. You are given three random options from which to choose and these stack, so by the time you reach the final boss you should be totally prepared. Mutations are unlocked by opening mutation crates, which once again come courtesy of Plink. There is a catch though, to warp in crates he requires batteries, which you collect by clearing waves. Then to actually open the crates you need Biobits, which is the in-game currency. In typical mobile game fashion you can purchase biobits if you are impatient, but also receive plenty for free simply by playing. If you are very patient you can even wait the required amount of hours and the crates can be opened for free. Mutations can be leveled up by spending more biobits or by gathering more of the same from crates. The mutations are as varied as they are unique and contain the usual assortment of health and strength increases to more exotic fare. Examples include battle flies that circle the edges of the screen damaging enemies for you, lightening strikes and even the ability to spawn bouncing eggs.
Between waves you are also given the option to purchase serums using your biobits. The health and strength serums are self explanatory, but the re-roll serum allows you to choose from three new mutations if you are not happy with the original selection from Plink. After reaching certain milestones you can also select a starting battle mutation for your creature, along with one unique special power and a new skin, provided you have unlocked them already. After completing the game with a creature you also unlock additional difficulty levels, not only upping the challenge but also introducing new enemies and backgrounds. This really increases the replay value of an already addictive game and playing on “Insane” is a completely different experience than playing on “Normal.” For added fun there are also various “challenges” to complete, such as achieving a certain combo level or not losing health for a certain amount of waves. Successfully completing challenges will increase your rank and also earn you some nice rewards.
BioBeasts is a single player only game, although it does feature leaderboards, so you can see how you stack up against other players. No special account is needed to play the game and, despite being a free game, the only time you’ll see adverts are when you choose. For example, after your creature is captured the first time, you can either give up, pay biobits to continue or watch an ad. You can only do it once per escape attempt and it is completely optional.
Although BioBeast is a single screen game, it manages to pack a lot of detail into its visuals and the screen can quickly fill up with hordes of enemies, explosions and other effects. We really love the design of the enemies that comes at you as they range from basic guards to lumbering brutes, K9 robots and even cyber samurais. After battling through 9 waves you also have a showdown with a final boss, which is pretty neat. The character designs for your creatures are just as great and show a lot of imagination. Our personal favorite is Toxic Bunny, a tiny bunny in a big robot suit who actually reminds us of Babyhead in the classic brawler Captain Commando. The interface is very straightforward and the game can be played easily with just one hand. You have four buttons corresponding to the four directions in which your creature can attack as well as a big red button to activate your special power. The pause button will let you take a breather if things get too intense and a progress bar indicates how long you still have to hold on before the wave is complete. All in all the interface makes sense and is very responsive, which is essential for such an action packed game.
We tend to prefer playing mobile games with the volume muted, but BioBeasts actually fares well in the audio department. The background music suites the onscreen action and the sound effects pack a lot of punch. The sound and music can also be toggled on and off independently, which is another plus for mobile games as far as we are concerned.
There isn’t much that we can fault about BioBeasts as it accomplishes everything that it sets out to do. The game is very addictive and even after completing a few escapes from the lab we were still drawn back to the higher difficulties. The use of in-app purchases and ads are also done in such a way that they don’t detract from the experience even if you are a free user. About the only criticism we have is that the game can become slightly repetitive after a while. If you are looking for a great arcade style survival game where you are not just another human fighting hordes of monsters then don’t miss out on BioBeasts. It looks great, plays great and will have you hooked after only a few waves.