is essentially Rampage on the Dreamcast. The Fluffy Logic developed PlayStation Network title is a monster-themed smash 'em up inspired by Godzilla and Jet Set Radio. Occupying an outrageously attractive cel-shaded visual style, Eat Them! puts you inside a comic-book world where mad scientists create and control monsters at the expense of civilians and sky-scrapers. The narrative's nonsense and Fluffy Logic know it, hence their decision to funnel you into the action as quickly as possible rather than spend time developing the plot.
The chief gameplay mechanic involves smashing buildings using the oh-so-satisfying strength of your monster, though in trying to avoid repetition Fluffy Logic's arguably delivered a game that doesn't always put its best foot forward. Racing is fine in Gran Turismo, but it's not so fun when you're controlling a 50-foot tall monster. The controls, which are lumbering and imprecise, feel fitting for Eat Them!'s concept, but the mission design doesn't always paint the mechanics in the best light.
With local multiplayer and a fairly extensive single-player campaign, Eat Them! will last you anywhere between five and ten hours to complete. The poor mission design may cause you to burn out before-hand though.
Apparently it's fashion to make a game that looks like a comic-book these days, but Eat Them! does a justifiably good job of building a visual style out of a concept that's becoming more than a little cliche just now. Eat Them!'s thick black lines and solic blocks of colour give the game a pulpy, attractive vibe that is perhaps the package's most appealing feature. Despite its clear inspiration from arcade classics such as Rampage, Eat Them! looks and feels more like a Dreamcast launch title. The over-the-top gameplay and bright colours give the package a classic SEGA flavour.
Eat Them!'s unique selling point is its fairly robust monster creation system. Here the game gives you the tools to create your own monster, providing you with numerous body-parts which unlock as you play through the game. Different components occupy unique properties on the monster, such as strength and speed. To be honest, we didn't really notice much difference between varying statistics, so we opted to create the coolest looking monster possible. From a visual stance, the monsters do look extremely cool, with a massive array of components unlockable as you progress through the campaign.
Eat Them! is at its best when the mission design gives you a sandbox portion of the city to smash up. While the city is restricted by not-so-invisible walls, the gameplay here is shallow but enjoyable. Controlling the monsters is slow, lumbering and clunky but it all adds to the pulpy vibe of the gameplay. Smashing up buildings is executed by using a combination of the shoulder and face buttons. Monsters are limited by a health-bar that is always decreasing. In order to keep levels high, you must eat civillians. Military enforcers have the biggest impact on the monster's health, but like standard civilians they too can be gobbled up and used as energy.
While Eat Them!'s Maximum Destruction mode represents the game's gameplay strengths, a number of the other mission objectives Fluffy Logic use to add variety are less interesting. Race game types are inhibited by the game's clunky control mechanics, while escort missions are maddeningly slow and hindered by Eat Them!'s imprecision. Perhaps what's worst about Eat Them! is its difficulty. The game tries to paint you as some kind of over-powered, city wrecking monster, yet some of the game's enemy types do enough damage to make you seem nothing more than a limp cardboard cut-out. It's at odds with the universe Fluffy Logic's trying to create, and it's frustrating.
Eat Them!'s strength is as a combative, chaotic, destructive arcade title, but no matter how fun it is bringing cities to their knees, it all gets old rather quickly. There's only so much fun you can get from the game's relatively shallow gameplay, and even when played in four-player local co-op, the same frustrating issues as the game's single-player portion arise. Eat Them! is a game best enjoyed in short bursts, but after the initial pang of satisfaction from bringing a city to its knees, the gameplay begins to wear thin.
Eat Them! delivers a satisfying smash-'em-up wrapped up in an attractive pulp-esque visual style. Unfortunately the game's weak mission design, cumbersome controls and repetitive nature restrict Eat Them! from being a long-standing source of entertainment.