BADLAND 2 ($4.99) by Frogmind is the sequel that no one was expecting. If you were a fan of the original Badland, which is a side-scrolling action platformer that was Apple’s Game of the Year, then you are in for a treat with Badland 2.
Even though I’ve gone through a lot of games since having an iPhone, I’m always on the lookout for new titles to add to my collection. And since I grew up with classic games like Super Mario Bros., the platformer will always have a soft spot in my heart. And while some people may not think that the mobile platform is great for the genre due to lack of physical controls, some games have managed to excel at this fact, and one of those titles is Badland. It’s a game that many of us have probably played at some point (the original has over 30 million players), and with no previous announcement of a sequel, Badland 2 just came out of left field for many of us. Regardless, this is definitely a game that you need to download if you are a fan of the original or just love an immersive action platformer experience.
Much like the original, Badland 2 features a stunningly gorgeous, atmospheric world that will pull you in from the get-go, even if you’ve never played the game before. Badland 2 sports beautiful, dream-like background environments that have dynamic lighting and shadows, and the layouts of each stage present a new challenge with every twist and turn. Animations in Badland 2 are buttery smooth and fluid as everything just flows together seamlessly, so I had no lag whatsoever on my iPhone 6s Plus. The ambient soundtrack is a delight to the ears, and the realistic nature sound effects add a fantastic finishing touch to the game in the visual and audio department. Seriously, Frogmind made sure that no stone was left untouched when making this game.
Badland 2 is level-based, despite the fact that it feels like one giant, continuous stage at times. There are four worlds to explore and survive, with about 10 levels in each. The objective of the game is to guide your black blob creature through treacherous obstacles in the search of the other survivors. Once you find your friends, you’ll have to guide them as well, all the way to the pipe at the end of the stage. But things are easier said than done, since the game scrolls horizontally and vertically, and if you fall behind, it will be game over and you’ll have to restart. You also must make your way past dangers like spinning saw blades, spikes, and new elements like liquids, flamethrowers, frost, magma, water, and bright, burning light. These new additions add an entirely new layer of depth to the game from the original, and are a nice change.
Controls in Badland 2 are simple, intuitive, and responsive. To move left or right, just tap on the appropriate side of the screen. Since your creature has flappy wing-ear things, you will also be going upwards as you move, which can be of use to you or a crutch in certain situations if you are not fast enough. To drop down, just let go of the screen and watch your character fall with the aid of gravity. Even though the game can be fairly challenging, the responsiveness of the controls make it a pleasure to play.
To retain the game’s replay value, there are three stars that can be earned on each stage. Obtaining these medals is done by completing the various objectives on each level, such as “Completing in one try,” “Collect all power-ups,” and more. There is also Game Center support for leaderboards and achievements, as well as global events to compete in. Needless to say, there is plenty of reason to keep coming back to this game.
I’m always a big fan of atmospheric games that seem like works of art in themselves, so I’m a big fan of Badland 2. Not only does the game look amazing and have a soothing soundtrack and sound effects, but the gameplay is fairly fast-paced and challenging. The controls feel natural and the responsiveness is always welcome, especially since you have to be pretty precise in this game to begin with. Frogmind has done it again with this surprise sequel.
I highly recommend Badland 2 if you want a masterpiece of a game to check out this weekend. Badland 2 is on the App Store as a universal download for $4.99.