Spider-Man: Total Mayhem in Review – Ooooh, my spidey-sense is tingling…

Gameloft, infamous for its array of games “inspired” by various successful PC titles has lately been on a roll, releasing games under licensed franchises. Some are better, some are worse, but a surprise hit has been the adaptation of one of the most popular comics ever – Spider-Man as a 3rd person Brawler in Spider-Man: Total Mayhem. Comic game adaptation have suffered a fate similar to many movie-inspired titles with below par releases across all platforms. How is this one different?

As I already noted Spider-Man: Total Mayhem is a classic 3rd person action game. Thanks to some Roxxcon scientist’s blunder, the Triskelion facility has seen probably the biggest breakout ever, with Spider-man’s “dearest” enemies now on the loose. Our superhero in red and blue has no choice but to round up the baddies and get to the bottom of what caused the outbreak.

If I had one word to describe the game, I would definitely choose – “action”. Almost every second will be spent either wreaking total mayhem on enemies (pun intended) using 50+ series of combos or swinging across the metropolis (no, not that one) from building to building. While the game features the same basic mechanics as many other titles of the same genre — reach a spot, encounter a bunch of bad guys, kill them, move on, rinse and repeat — it is polished to such a degree that it never gets boring. The enemies change fairly often and the various platform puzzles offer some relief, but not to be so overwhelmingly difficult as in Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (TMA Review). Also for putting down the bar boys you gain green orbs, which replenish your life and red orbs, which provide experience for you to upgrade your abilities.

A special mention has to go to the combat system. Utilizing just 2 basic attacks and a jump-and-swing button, the game manages over a dozen different combos, depending on the enemy you fight and the order you attack them. This makes for a spectacular and almost cinematic experience. All of this is further enhanced by the spider sense special ability, which triggers a special button that gets you out of danger from an incoming enemy’s attack in superb slo-mo. The boss fights add to the variety, with such classic villains as the Sandman, Surge, Venom and other well known faces making a cameo appearance. Adding to the challenge, each boss fight requires a special tactic to defeat them, and some are almost impossible to guess (I must have died dozens of times trying to beat Rhino).

Spider-Man: Total Mayhem is eye candy graphics-wise. On the iPhone 4 with full Retina-display support, the environment looks simply gorgeous with the distinct comic-style visuals and rich colours. The audio is also superb – Spidey’s voice is immediately recognizable, along with all of his foes and friends. And the controls are probably some of the best I’ve experienced on any iPhone action game, using a virtual analogue stick and a handful of buttons to put the swinging’n’dinging under your complete control.

Spider-Man: Total Mayhem is easily one of the best Action games I’ve played on the iDevice thus far. It reminded me a lot of Prince of Persia: Warrior Within (also by Gameloft), but much more polished, superbly balanced and adapted perfectly for the iPhone. In a nutshell: Spider-Man: Total Mayhem is pure web-spitting baddy-ass-kicking action wrapped in fantastic visuals and intuitive controls that is sure to hold you like a fly until you manage to get the escapees back where they belong.

With this I declare Spider-Man: Total Mayhem officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Spider-Man: Total Mayhem Developer: Gameloft
Reviewed Ver: 1.0.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $6.99 App Size: 467.37MB
  • Superbly polished gameplay
  • Excellent graphics true to the comic-books
  • Authentic voices
  • Very addictive and fun
  • No GameCenter integration
  • Some hints on boss battles would be nice


A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well): http://twitter.com/ChiffaNe

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