Some games are better experienced alone, while others scream to be played with others. Meltdown fits squarely into the second category. On your own it's a trudge, but with others it's an explosion riddled-chunk of bite-sized fun.
It's full of interesting ideas, but they don't quite gel together until you're playing with someone else.
The single-player campaign is entertaining in its own way, but the freedom offered when you're playing with a few friends makes playing on your own feel a little stodgy by comparison.
Essentially, the game is an isometric third-person cover shooter. You tap to move, dodging between chest-high walls, blasting away a variety of robots in fenced-off levels. Get to the elevator at the end and you move to the next shootout.
Your shooting is handled automatically when anything gets in range, although you can choose targets by tapping either side of them with two fingers. If anything gets too close a quick swipe unleashes a fast melee move. Double-taps see you doing a roll to get away from enemies more quickly.
As you kill you earn cash and upgrade points. You can use these to buy new weapons, upgrade the ones you've already got, and power-up your armour-clad super soldier. You've got a shield, a health bar, and a pouch full of ammo at your disposal.
The levels are small and samey, populated with a variety of turrets and robots that fire out rockets, slash with razor blades, or explode when you've shot them too much.
Down but not out
When you're on your own the imprecision of the controls can be a bit of a drag, and there are sections when you'll be swamped by robots and die within a couple of seconds, tapping and swiping at the screen ineffectually.
But when there are other players, there's always someone with your back, and always another gun ready to flash and clear a path for you.
The lack of balance means the single-player game, while occasionally fun, is too grind heavy. Throw some friends or strangers in the mix, though, and things brighten up no end.
If you're looking for a game to play on your own, give Meltdown a miss. If you're looking for something to play with others, then it should be near the top of your list.