Posted on May 8, 2013 AT 04:03pm
Uniqueness comes few and far between in the mobile world. These days every company is doing a runner, whether it’s something like a swipe and move like Subway Surfers and Temple Run or a side-scroller like GrimJoggers and Burt Destruction. Frogmind, though, has decided to take a different route with this sub-genre with its new game BADLAND.
BADLAND has players fly a strange flying creature (something like a bat with an afro) through a colorfully beautiful jungle in four different time periods (dawn, noon, dusk, and night). In this jungle there are many challenges and hinderances that will keep you from reaching the end of the level, such as axplosives, saws, giant boulders, and heavy machinery. The jungle wants you dead, but you have plans to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Throughout each level you’ll find power-ups that will make you grow or shrink, speed or slow time, cause you to be sticky, bouncy, spin, and — especially in some of the final levels — square. You can also collect clones of yourself to up the score near the end of the game, not to mention give you a better chance at finishing the level without having to go back to the previous checkpoint (or sometimes the start of the level).
BADLAND has a very Limbo vibe to the game, thanks to its blacked-out characters and dark foreboding nature. On some occasions things will jump onto the screen without notice, sometimes killing you if you don’t react quickly. That’s the name of the game, though: think fast or die, and it pushes that aspect well enough to keep you on your toes at all times.
Graphically BADLAND is a wonder on the eyes. The colorful jungles mixed with the blackened creatures in the background help contrast both the beauty and the mood that the game portrays. It’s a shame, though, that you don’t cross paths with the weird animals that you see within the jungle, as it would’ve been cool to see how that would’ve helped/hindered your winged friend in the levels. While there’s no real soundtrack to the game the ambient sounds of the worlds definitely help keep the setting eerie. Controlling the game is also very easy, where you simply hold your finger down on the screen to fly, letting go to glide down as you evade traps and other things wanting to kill your character.
BADLAND also has a great multiplayer game that you and three others can play on the same screen. Each person takes control of an afro bat as they go through one of sixteen levels. First one to reach the end (or simply outrun the side-scrolling screen) can gain victory, but if you lose and collect more clones than the other player then there’s a chance you can still take the victory.
Single player mode currently has forty levels to play through in Day 1, with Day 2 coming later on in the year. These levels may take some time for you to fully master, with completion time somewhere between 3-4 hours, which isn’t bad for a $3.99 title. You can go back to older levels, too, and see if you can collect more clones to add to your counter.
- Very challenging
- Cool multiplayer mode
- Jungles look beautiful
- May cause frustration near final levels
- Can’t interact with mysterious creatures in background
BADLAND is a solid iOS debut from Frogmind, thanks to its imaginative levels, challenging gameplay, and creepily cool atmosphere. If you have a couple spare bucks to your name I highly recommend a visit to these dangerous jungles. The only thing you’ll probably regret is when you can’t save as many clones as you wish you could’ve in your play-through.
FINAL GRADE: 8.5 (out of ten)
iOS review copy provided by Frogmind
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