Mountain Dew Game Fuel is back, representing Pepsi's latest extortion of the video game industry. First debuted in 2007 as a citrus cherry flavor to promote Halo 3, then assigned the Mountain Dew Game Fuel Horde Red name in 2009 for World of Warcraft, the original Game Fuel flavor returns in 2011, again nameless, to take Activision's money to shill for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
This is the third release of Game Fuel flavors, which debuted with a single flavor, then returned 2 years later as a duo (Horde Red, Alliance Blue). For 2011, we again are given a pair of flavors, the original "red" flavor, which isn't branded, but we'll refer to by the subtitled description, Citrus Cherry. A new "green" flavor also debuts, which we're calling Game Fuel Tropical.
The big gaming hook for this year's release of Game Fuel is the chance to earn "Double XP", or basically more playing time by redeeming codes from Dew and various Doritos products.
If you're read our reviews on the original red Game Fuel flavor in previous years, then there's really nothing new to report here. The taste is the same.
The drink is colored orange-red, not as bold in color Mountain Dew Code Red. Upon opening, the scent resembles that of a Tropical Punch-type of Dew, somewhat like the limited run Mountain Dew Typhoon.
Citrus Cherry is tangy, but mild. While the color is red, the flavor isn't exactly cherry as you would expect with Mountain Dew Code Red. It's more "punch" like and unique in that sense. I guess that's what "citrus cherry" means. It's slightly different from standard cherry, but probably not enough to really sustain itself as a full-time flavor (not to mention the color confusion it causes).
You still get a nice dose of high fructose corn syrup and the associated syrupy Dew aftertaste. It's not really an outstanding flavor, but then again, look at the recent line extensions added to the Dew lineup (Voltage, White Out) and you can see that quality flavor isn't exactly high on Pepsi's checklist. Let's face it, the entire reason that Game Fuel exists is to create video game promotional tie-ins and boost the overall sales of the brand.
Here's what's inside:
Mountain Dew Game Fuel Citrus Cherry
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), gum arabic, caffeine, sodium citrate, Yellow 5, glycerol ester of wood rosin, calcium disodium edta (to protect flavor), Yellow 6, Red 40, brominated vegetable oil
A 20 oz. bottle of Mountain Dew Game Fuel Citrus Cherry will cost you 290 calories, and give you 110 mg of sodium, and 77 g of carbs (77 g sugars). Interestingly, this bottle doesn't have the little callout of the calorie count that you see on beverages these days due to recent changes in FDA labeling rules.
One of the main features of the Game Fuel series in the increase in caffeine content. Mountain Dew Game Fuel Citrus Cherry breaks down to 6.0 mg/oz of caffeine. In contrast, original Mountain Dew contains 4.5 mg/oz.
The label is primarily red and black, with a "Call of Duty MW3" branded band sitting at the top of the design. The continuously annoying "Mtn Dew" spelling anchors the logo, with a subbrand of "Game Fuel" sitting below it. Once again, this drink is described as "Dew with a Blast of Citrus Cherry." You'll find a call out for "Double XP under the cap" on the rear side of the label, as well as a URL pointing you to DewXP.com. Oh, and a headshot of a character associated with the game itself.
Once again, this is a limited time offering, slated for a 8-10 week release window, in classic Pepsi short-term product strategy, which tends to work pretty well for them. If you are a fan of the original Citrus Cherry flavor of Game Fuel, now is the time to track it down and enjoy!