Multiwinia full review - Page 2


Multiwinia crate drops

The other element of chaos in the game is the crate drops. Crates can be captured to give the player powerups. I’ve been playing with the “powerups=crates” concept since Command and Conquer: Red Alert, but I’ve never seen crates impact your overall strategy to such a high degree as they do in Multiwinia. Quite simply, certain powerups are so overpowered as to completely swing the battle in the favour of the crate’s user.

The powerups range from the useful but pedestrian (like speeding up your troops, giving them temporary shields) to the overpowered superweapons (nukes, airstrikes, and ant hills). Some of the creates are humorous (eggs will sprout monsters that will disrupt enemy troops and ant hills create a mutually antagonistic army anywhere on the map) but their power undercuts the strategy of the game.

When defending on one of the assault maps, I watched as the enemy established a beachhead beneath my fortifications. I wanted to use “infiltration” on their spawn point, but the game wouldn’t allow the action, and the upgrade (which I received three times from various crates) was useless. In contrast, when I got the air strike ability, I just repeatedly bombed their landing area and watched as the helpless enemy Multiwinians were blown to pieces. The mission went from being frustrating and impossible to super easy in seconds.

Due to the unique art style and context of the game, the graphics are intentionally 80’s retro. But when four armies are colliding, bombs are exploding, and flames are sprouting around an epicenter of combat, the game provides some unique and stunning visions of war. It looks terrific on the 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro I tested on, with no slow down even when four large armies were on the move.

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