Mountain Dew Game Fuel has returned for 2011, bringing back the popular Citrus Cherry flavor, and debuting a new Tropical taste for the first time. As we noted in our previous review of Citrus Cherry, this year's release of Game Fuel flavors is aimed at promoting Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, with the promise of delivering "Double XP", more playing time gained by redeeming codes from various Dew and Doritos products.
This being the 3rd iteration of Game Fuel, we find that this is only the 2nd time we've been provided with an alternate flavor outside of the flagship Citrus Cherry. It 2009, as part of a World of Warcraft promotion, the standard Horde Red was joined by a "wild fruit" flavor, Alliance Blue. For 2011, this new "green" flavor isn't given a specific name, but we'll refer to by the subtitled description on the bottle, Tropical.
The green drink is colored a darker hue than standard Mountain Dew, though not as neon in tone as the limited edition Mountain Dew Distortion from 2010. Pop the cap off and what you smell is pretty much the standard Mountain Dew scent.
Now, how does Tropical taste? In short, not very good. Close your eyes as you drink this and you'll find that the flavor is rather… empty. I'm not sure what "Tropical" was supposed to infer here, but I'm not really feelin' it. Don't let the color of the drink fool you into thinking that it's a deeper lime or some other green fruit. When I asked folks via BevReview's Facebook and Twitter accounts, the responses on flavor were quite varied, indicating a drink that really doesn't know what it's supposed to be.
For me, it tasted a bit like Green River, but with more syrup and perhaps a tad bit of pineapple thrown in there, reminiscent of Shasta Tiki Punch or some other tropical taste. The flavor is partially there, then dissolves into nothing, leaving you with a film on your tongue as part of the aftertaste. It's not very memorable at all and hard to see why this should be considered anything special.
Here's what's inside:
Mountain Dew Game Fuel Tropical
Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural flavor, sodium benzoate (preserves freshness), caffeine, sodium citrate, gum arabic, Yellow 5, calcium disodium edta (to protect flavor), brominated vegetable oil, Blue 1
A 20 oz. bottle of Mountain Dew Game Fuel Tropical 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 Tropical breaks down to 6.0 mg/oz of caffeine. In contrast, original Mountain Dew contains 4.5 mg/oz.
The label is primarily green and black, with a "Call of Duty MW3" branded band sitting at the top of the design. The logo is anchored by the goofy "Mtn Dew" spelling, with a subbrand of "Game Fuel" sitting below it. Official description of this drink is "Dew with a Charge of Tropical." You'll find a mention of "Double XP under the cap" on the rear side of the label, as well as a URL pointing you to DewXP.com. Wrap it all up with a headshot of a character associated with the game itself.
Both Tropical and the Citrus Cherry flavors are slated as LTOs (limited time offerings), in a 8-10 week release window. Thus, if you really need to try a new Mountain Dew, track them down and move quick! Of the two flavors for 2011, the original Citrus Cherry is better, with Tropical being a perfect candidate for the "why did you even bother" category.