MiG Madness

You’ll probably get 80 Microsoft Points worth of entertainment out of MiG Madness.  It’s a solid wave-shooter in the styling of Time Pilot that features four player co-op.  No storyline or bullshit cut scenes.  It’s just you, your buddies, some power-ups, and some bad guys.  There’s not a lot of meat on the bone, but what it here is fairly palatable, making MiG a solid waste of an hour.  I almost have nothing to complain about.


MiG’s graphics are not spectacular or anything, but it does have decent character models and pretty looking clouds.  I would probably have liked these things more, but it quickly became obvious that MiG could serve as a poster child for developers allowing ascetics to get in the way of gameplay.  MiG suffers from all kinds of visibility issues.  You often can’t see your bullets, but more importantly, you often can’t see those of the enemies either.  In a game that is all about shooting things and dodging bullets, that is pretty significant problem.  The bullets just blend it too much with the background, and sometimes the planes do too, depending on what color the backdrop is.  The game constantly switches between day and night, dusk and dawn, meaning that no matter what color ship you choose, keeping an eye on it can be troublesome.  I had the best luck with yellow, even if it made me feel like I was flying a giant Twinkie.

I’ve played other games here where the graphics got in the way of gameplay.  I do get it.  Better graphics equals more commercial appeal.  However, I don’t think anyone is going to look at a game that looks like this:

And say that they’re sold on it based on how gosh darn swell the clouds look.  A person is either going to want a quirk-and-dirty wave shooter themed on vintage military planes or they won’t.  MiG is not a bad game by any means.  It’s fun in single player or co-op, has a nice variety of weapons (even if some of the missile-based stuff is too slow to be useful), and controls pretty decently.  It’s the type of game that you can spend a buck on, play for an hour, feel satisfied, and never go back to it again.  If it wasn’t for the graphics getting in the way, I wouldn’t have to include “but..” with all of that.  Sadly I do.  It’s a big but, I cannot lie.  You developers have got to try.  When a title shows up with a pretty face but busted gameplay all over the place, it is dung.

MiG Madness was developed by Bionic Shark Studios

80 Microsoft Points promise to never do that again in the making of this review. 

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

3 Responses to MiG Madness

  1. Starglider says:

    Perhaps it would benefit from a custom full-screen postprocess shader, doing contrast and sharpness enhancement. Alternatively just have a simple adjustment of sprite brightness when an RGB conflict (based on preset average colour) is detected.

  2. Adman says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if the developers did all their dev and playtesting with a solid black background, and added backgrounds very late in the cycle.

    I think you bring up a really insightful… insight. All the parts of your game need to work together in concert. Even though static background graphics might seem totally removed from the actual gameplay and mechanics, it can still have an effect.

  3. Ha, I laughed at that line. Don’t feel too bad.

    Yet again, it seems like an untested or minimally tested game. It doesn’t require recruitment of a dozen friends for five-hour play sessions to just sit, play for ten minutes and go “Ugh, sometimes the bullets are hard to see”. The dev can do that alone. Bah.

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