Hmm, BADLAND is typically written in upper case, but I’m not sure how happy I am with that. Badland? BADLAND? I’ll probably just wing it.
BADLAND is described by its developer, Frogmind, as an “atmospheric action side-scroller adventure game”. Couldn’t have put it better myself.
Upon starting BADLAND, you’re thrown straight into the action. There’s no tutorial, no mention of the controls, and no explanation of what the hell’s going on.
Instead, you’re kinda left to figure everything out for yourself, and while I’d usually chalk that down to lazy developing, it seems – for some reason – totally genius in BADLAND.
Maybe it’s because there’s absolutely nothing cluttering the screen in BADLAND, no virtual buttons or score, and no star-rating system after each level, only a tiny pause button in the top left.
As such, the lack of guidance fits with the minimalist on-screen feel. Excellent.
On that note, there are no ads and no in-app purchases either. You pay an entry fee of £2.49 (a bargain), and that’s it. Perfect.
Anyway, a few quick stabs of the screen, and you’ll soon find that BADLAND’s controls are incredibly simple; holding your finger down causes the little guy to float, while left-to-right movement occurs automatically. A bit like Jetpack Joyride, I guess.
There are all sorts of little power-ups, and again you’re left to figure things out for yourself. Without going into too much detail, you can change size, speed and shape – among other things.
You’ll also find yourself controlling groups of the little guys, called clones. Don’t get too attached to them; so long as one of them survives (doesn’t get crushed or exploded or left off the screen as the action scrolls), you keep going.
Last but not least, we turn to BADLAND’s visuals. Holy. Crap. It looks a-mazing. Everything in the foreground is predominantly black, while the backgrounds are stunning, vibrant efforts. Beautiful.
And that, in a nutshell, is the excellent BADLAND. A recent update took us to 50 levels, and you can actually go back and load levels individually, with three missions to tackle in each (complete the level without dying, collect all power-ups, that kinda thing).
In case I haven’t been abundantly clear: you must go play BADLAND. NOW (upper case).
- The presentation/visuals
- The creepy atmosphere
- The puzzles
- Not really, man
Summary: BADLAND is an absolutely fantastic “atmospheric action side-scroller adventure game”, and a must play if you own a compatible iDevice.
Price: £2.49 @ App Store
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad. Requires iOS 4.3 or later. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.