Review: Mountain Dew Game Fuel 2012 – Citrus Cherry

Mountain Dew Game Fuel is a limited edition flavor that first debuted in 2007, returning in various forms since then, always promoting a new video game release. For 2012, the original flavor has returned, which most fans refer to as Citrus Cherry, based on previous official product descriptions from Pepsi.

Mountain Dew Game Fuel 2012 - Citrus Cherry

Mountain Dew Game Fuel 2012 – Citrus Cherry

First, a quick history of Game Fuel releases:

In effect, Game Fuel has now come full circle, given that it was originally promoting Halo 3, and here in 2012, it’s shilling for Halo 4. Once again, the promotional hook is the offering of “Double XP”, redeemable codes found on Dew and Doritos products that provide in-game enhancements.

Halo 4 and Double XP promotional images

Halo 4 and Double XP promotional images

When it comes to flavor, 2012′s Game Fuel has not changed when compared to previous releases of the Citrus Cherry entry. You may want to glance at our original 2007 review to see our initial reaction when it first arrived on the scene. 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.

"Calories Per Bottle" badge

“Calories Per Bottle” badge

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. It’s slightly different from standard cherry, but probably not enough to really sustain itself as a full-time flavor. Given the hype and track record of Game Fuel re-releases, I’m sure Pepsi is just fine with keeping this as a limited time offering.

It’s curious that we’re getting just a single Game Fuel release this year, when in both 2009 and 2011 Pepsi rolled out pairs. This is probably due to so many other recent limited runs for Dew, such as this summer’s Mountain Dew Dark Berry. Or maybe the flagship flavor just sells the best and it’s really not worth the time & effort to come up with something else.

Description Comparison: 2011 vs. 2012

Description Comparison: 2011 vs. 2012

As previously mentioned, 2012′s version is promoting Halo 4 and is branded accordingly, including the use of Master Chief’s image (or at least I assume that’s him… what do I know, I have a Wii!) Like previous Game Fuel releases, the label is primarily red and black, with a “Halo 4” 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. Curiously, in 2011, this drink was described as “Dew with a Blast of Citrus Cherry,” but in 2012 it’s “Dew with a Blast of Citrus Cherry FLAVOR.” Um, OK. There’s also a small callout for “Double XP” and The other substantial packaging change is the inclusion of the “Calories Per Bottle” badge that is now required by recent FDA rules.

Mountain Dew Game Fuel Citrus Cherry 2012
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 contains 290 calories, 110 mg sodium, and 77 g carbs (77 g sugars). Game Fuel is noted for increased caffeine content, with 6.0 mg/oz. Original Mountain Dew contains 4.5 mg/oz.

This drink should be available for a limited 8-10 week period of time. Enjoy it while you can!

Official Website:

Full Disclosure: This beverage was provided compliments of PepsiCo