Colossatron: Massive World Threat is a strange beast. It mashes together a hardcore arcade concept with a casual play style, and just about manages to reconcile the two into a playable and entertaining experience.

While there's carnage at every turn, you never feel quite responsible for it. Instead you're essentially managing the upkeep of the titular alien invader by swiping different coloured sections into its ever-extending body.

That's not to say that things don't get frantic. When you're surrounded by tanks and bombers, desperately swiping out broken power cores before they explode while trying to strategically position new ones, you probably will let out the odd swear.

But Colossatron might not be the game you're expecting it to be.

Tron Evolution

The giant snake beast at the centre of the action isn't under your direct control. It weaves its way around the cities it's dropped into, carving a path of carnage and destruction that earns you cash. As you play you'll earn special moves that let you point the Colossatron in a specific direction, but that's it.

Instead you're manipulating the body of the monster, adding new modules to the twisting length that add more firepower, armour, and healing capabilities. These nodes are red, yellow, or blue, but you can combine them to make different weapons.

Stick a red and a blue together, for example, and they'll meld to become a purple, which sends out healing bots to protect parts of your snake from damage. Put three nodes of the same colour together and they'll mesh into a more powerful version of themselves.

Simply swiping the nodes together without a care in the world will get you killed pretty quickly. You need to consider where they're going to go, and what benefit you need at that moment. It adds a layer of strategic puzzling to proceedings, and demands a level head when you're under serious attack.

Tanks for that

There are a variety of power-ups, boosts, and extra weapons to buy and find as well. And each new chunk of a level begins with you spending to cash to upgrade or repair your weapon of mass destruction.

Everything is presented with a bright cartoon glow, and despite the massive amount of city-destroying weaponry you're toting there's a rich thread of good-natured humour running through the game as well.

It all comes together to create a game that's oddly addictive. Swiping new cores into the swirling rampage takes patience and practice, and keeping an eye on the nodes that are about to blow makes for some pretty severe multi-tasking.

There are secrets and power-ups littered around the levels as well, and grabbing them can mean the difference between wiping a nation off the face of the earth and ending your reign of terror on the scrap heap.

No shooting shooter

Colossatron is an innovative little game then, but it does take some getting used to. The lack of direct control can be a little frustrating, and it sometimes feels like the game is deliberately leading you into the worse of the danger.

But when your slotting in nodes, adding shields, and slipping rapid fire power-ups into the belly of your deadly convoy, Colossatron just feels right. It's slick, it's highly polished, and its blend of puzzling, action, and strategy sets it apart from the crowd.

It might not be the game you're expecting it to be, but there's still an intriguing and enjoyable semi-arcade blast here, and it's worth the asking price just to give it a go.

Want more? Check out our growing collection of Colossatron: Massive World Threat articles!