Pollushot is great in concept, but flawed in execution
Hopefully you haven’t glanced at the score and not bothered to read through this review. If you own a recent, powerful device, keep reading. If you have a phone that’s a year or two old, feel free to skip this if you’re short on time. I really, really like the core of this game. There’s something pretty good here that’s entertaining. It must just be lost in the code somewhere.
Pollushot has a great idea for a mobile game. It takes some of the most basic concepts from a bunch of classic games like Breakout and Space Invaders and mixes it with the slingshot mechanic from Angry Birds. There are polluting pirates invading the world, and you’re out there with a slingshot trying to stop them. Catch falling ammo, set up your slingshot and try to destroy the invading ships. Rinse and repeat.
There are three worlds to fight your way through, though it’s unclear how you get to those worlds. The graphics in the menu tell you “100,000 to unlock”. I guess they mean your score, but in all my time spent with the game I felt lucky to get 25,000. There’s one screen of tutorial explaining the controls, and beyond that, there’s nothing to explain anything else about the game.
The controls are very simple, move around your slingshot with your finger, tap and hold to pull it back, take aim and let go to fire. Whenever I touched the slingshot to start moving it out of the way of attacks it would randomly jump in one direction or another, frequently costing me a life that I wouldn’t have lost otherwise. With a good amount of bullets being fired at you a decent amount of precision is occasionally needed to weave your way to safety. Unfortunately the controls need some tuning before this can happen.
I have an older phone, so I don’t expect every game to run like it’s on the latest hardware, and I try to keep that in mind when reviewing a game and analyzing the performance. Pollushot ran horribly for me due to a high amount of particle effects that aren’t always entirely necessary. I perused a number of user ratings to confirm my suspicions that you’re gonna need the latest devices if you want this game to run well.
I wish I didn’t have to be so harsh to this game, I like it, but there are various major problems that I ran into that prevent me from liking it better. If I owned a Thunderbolt or Bionic my opinion might vary on the performance issues, but a lot of the other frustrations with the game are not dependent on a particular device. I don’t know if Pollushot was rushed out to market or not, but it definitely could have used some more time in development. Hopefully with a few updates it will be a more enjoyable experience.