Wawa Land ($0.99) by Play Fripp is a platform game that sticks with tradition in the side-scrolling genre. It keeps you on your toes with plenty of coin-collecting, crate-crushing fun.
The adventure starts off with Wawa trying to rescue the Royal Jelly, who has been kidnapped by critters. Sound familiar? That’s because the story, and the majority of the game play is very similar to a certain famous Italian brother who is trying to rescue a princess. This game is a lot like the most famous platform adventure around, and it pays homage to it well.
Players run along, collecting floating coins and earning points for squashing critters. There are special chests that, when head-bumped, will release 25 coins at once. There are wood boxes that can be busted by jumping up at them. Some have coins hidden inside, some have an extra life hidden in them.
There is a wide variety of enemies. For example, there is a critter that looks like a colorful Goomba and a bulgy enemy that is not entirely unlike a Koopa Troopa. That is, it doesn’t squish when jumped on. Instead, it lays prone and players can either kick it into other enemies, or jump on its belly for added bounce. If there is a Goomba-like critter nearby, he will actually resuscitate the bulgy guy. There are also fire-breathing plants and all sorts of other fun enemies.
There are a couple of power suits that give Wawa special abilities. The Tornado suit lets him frantically spin around, destroying any nearby enemies. However, if you spin too much, Wawa will get dizzy and not be able to move for a few seconds.
After describing this game, I know you’re all going to want to download it as quick as a rabbit, but here is the bad part. The controls are less than stellar. When jumping, sometimes Wawa will go into float mode, even when you didn’t hold down the jump button. The Pirate Scarf suit, which let’s you shoot bombs, only works about half the time. I think the reason it is temperamental is that, when Wawa isn’t moving, players can drop a big bomb that does more damage. The small bombs can only be shot while moving. This complicates the single button mechanics. Speaking of buttons, the run and jump buttons are awkwardly placed toward the center of the screen. They could stand to be repositioned to the right side instead.
This game is not Retina display supported, which apparently is a real downer for some. If you are one of those people that would give a poor review just because a game doesn’t have Retina display support, don’t download Wawa Land. You should also reevaluate what is important in life.
The slight drop in quality of the controls will not keep you from enjoying this game. It is a perfect homage to the most famous platform adventure around without being a total clone. Since Nintendo doesn’t want to play nice with iOS, this is the next best thing. The price is remarkably low for such a well-made game. The developers are promising additional levels in the future, as well.