Xenowerk is one such game that has all the potential to pander its own narrative a little too much a mass of mutants being bred after a science experiment goes wrong in a secret underground laboratory. But rather than overloading you with needless detail, developer Pixelbite has forgone the pain of pushing an opening cut scene upon you, or even a splurge of text detailing a back story, opting instead to drop you straight into the action.
You have to love a game that does not get wrapped up in its own mythology. Few games on mobile ever reach Metal Gear Solid levels of self-imbecility, which is probably just as well, as smartphones are not really a comfy platform for even the compendious of cut scenes or reams reams of plot.
Your objective is to destroy all the nests and eliminate all mutants to prevent them from spreading. Xenowerk has 50 levels to explore with increasing difficulty. As progressing through the game you’ll come across a growing number of mutants and expanding areas to cleanse. Heavier firepower and thicker armor is critical to stay alive on your journey. Gather pickups from slain mutants to power up weapons and armor.
Indeed, Xenowerk even features a reproduce system, meaning that should you get ripped apart by the approaching mutants, you can either choose to start the level afresh or simply pick it up where you left off. While purists might consider this something of a cheat, in the context of a mobile game more likely to be played on the tube on the way to work rather than during an hour long session a home, it’s the perfect way of ensuring you don’t give up and move on without completely undermining the challenge. What’s more, you will actually want to complete each stage without reproduce simply because it’s very easy to like Xenowerk. Its twin stick approach moving with the left, firing with the right is in no way new and there’s very little about what’s on offer here that you could truly claim was in any way original or even inventive, but that does not stop it being incredibly polished and, as a player, entirely rewarding experience.
It makes up more than for in terms of fun and general polish, with developer Pixelbite delivering a game that perfectly measures the way people play mobile games and matches it with nuggets of digestible action. It’s unlikely to make any great impact on the genre, but it will deliver a whole host of amusement for those looking to mow down a mutant or two.