iPad Game Review: Badland (Universal) Review
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
Badland is a puzzle platform game without the platforms. You will guide your Snorf/Fury/Cyclo/Clony through increasingly dangerous and beautifully garbage strewn levels in an attempt to guide it and its clones to safety.
Badland, while technically a platform game, has no actual platforms to speak of. Instead, you touch the screen to flap your wings and remove your finger to stop flapping. Landing on anything solid for more than the briefest moment will almost certainly cost you some clones and possibly the level. You will use this mechanic to navigate crumbling structures, jagged passageways, and rickety machinery. All of these things are dynamic, and interact with your creatures according to a complex physics model in challenging and fascinating ways. While the levels don't change between runs, the variability of the objects means that no two runs are ever exactly the same. This is great news as you will undoubtedly be repeating levels to rescue every possible clone and the variability keeps this from feeling like a grind.
As fun as the single-player mode is, it can't touch multiplayer for bringing a grin to your face. Up to four players can compete on the same device simultaneously. Like single-player mode, you will pick up additional clones on your runs and the chaos that ensues from the seething mass of critters banging around the screen is comedy gold. Also like single-player, your horde will wax and wane, but as long as you have even one clone left, you're still in the race. If you have a particularly memorable run, you can save it as a movie to replay later. Awesome. Badland fully supports Cloud Save and Game Center.
The graphics of Badland are absolutely fantastic. The background features smooth parallax scrolling, and the crumbling foreground is in such stark contrast to it that more than once I found myself trapped under debris because I was sightseeing instead of playing. Yes, it's just a 2D scroller, but Badland succeeds at being a feast for the eyes nonetheless.
The music is minimal, but beautiful, and the sound effects made me want to grab my headphones. Badland is as easy on your ears as it is on your eyes. No mean feat, to be sure.
In-App Purchases (IAPs)
Badland contains no IAPs of any kind.
Badland is a fantastic game at every level. It's quirky, fun, graphically rich and has beautiful audio. This is an A-List game. Buy it.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Stunningly beautiful and dynamic world
Sound: - 5 - You will want your headphones for Badland
Controls: - 5 - One finger controls makes Badland about as intuitive as you can get without a Matrix-style neural implant.
Gameplay: - 5 - It's fun and original, with lots of surprises.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Watch for falling debris and choke points. Getting hung-up will cause you to lose the level. Plan on replaying levels at least twice. There are some traps that you can only avoid with direct knowledge or lots of luck. You only need to save one clone to beat a level so don't despair if you lose most of your critters.
Developer: Frogmind Games
Release Date: April 3, 2013
Buy App: Badland
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