Max Adventure Hands-On Preview

Imangi Studios found success last year with Harbor Master, a path-drawing game that we thought stood up well against Flight Control. Their next game, Max Adventure, merits comparison to another genre-defining iPhone hit, Minigore.

In Max Adventure, you play as Max, an imaginative kid who steps up to save his neighborhood when the town’s adults are abducted by aliens. Wearing a colander on his head, Max picks up a ray-gun and must fight off hordes of aliens while rescuing the neighborhood kids.

Like any good twin-stick shooter, Max Adventure contains an endless survival mode, and after the aliens get the best of you, you can post your scores to Twitter or Imanji’s leaderboards. But in a welcome shift, Max Adventure also has a story mode that introduces other characters.

One of these is Lizzy, the popular girl in school who, through her mastery of Facebook, knows where all the nearby kids are being held captive. Another is Chad, her jock boyfriend, who tries to play off his cowardly hiding in the school as no big deal.

In the build we played, there were two kinds of missions: Levels where you had to rescue a certain number of other kids, and levels where you had to destroy all the enemy spaceships (which generate unlimited bad guys until they’re destroyed). Other levels that are planned include timed challenges and boss battles.

There are three types of aliens Max will fight against. These are a generic purple drone, a speedy green alien with three eyestalks, and a tall, lanky monster that shoots fireballs. During survival mode, you’ll have to face a lot of these guys, but you can sustain a pretty good amount of damage before dying.

The storyline and characters are the most interesting things about Max Adventure, but we’re not sure yet if the gameplay offers enough variety to keep us playing until the alien threat is wiped out completely. But if the price is right– and Imangi is considering making this a free, ad-supported game– we think our more imaginative, colander-wearing readers will enjoy it.