Originally developed by Frogmind Games for Windows Phones and iOS, the Game of the Year Edition of Badland brings its stylized forest world to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, and PlayStation Vita consoles with modified controls and levels.
In addition to over 100 single player levels paired up with previous downloadable content, the Game of the Year edition also comes with an additional grouping of 4 player co-op and competitive multiplayer levels that offer four times the content of what was included in the original release. The charm of this simple game however doesn’t last too long for those who are looking to spend more time with their console games.
For those who never jumped in before, Badland is a game with elements of action adventure and puzzles that come together in one package. There is a subtle narrative that reveals itself as you go through and complete each of the game’s levels.
You play as Clony, a small flying creature that has an array of abilities to traverse the harsh obstacles of the treacherous forest in the game. When Clony picks up small orbs scattered throughout the many areas, it gains a different ability that will help you reach the end goal of each level. Some orbs will have Clony bouncing around the screen or sticking to obstacles, increasing and decreasing in size, and even multiplying into duplicates to help give you an extra chance to pass through hostile areas.
The physics of the game engage you in practical puzzles that sometimes require some application of trial and error. A solution to passing an area may not be obvious at first, but a little exploration of what does and doesn’t work will help reveal new ways around obstacles.
If you played through Badland on its original mobile platforms, you’ll be pleased to know that every level has been tweaked to compensate for the control scheme on consoles. The overall single player game is the same as before, but more levels and a few tweaks are in the console versions.
Movement is influenced with the analog stick and face buttons as you make your way through each of the game’s 100+ levels. The level physics of the game are similar to the original release, but still work well on the consoles with the modified controls. When Clony changes in size, you can feel the shift in its weight as you try and navigate across the screen. The game loses its momentum however when things became repetitive very fast, as is the case with games that originate on mobile and are meant to be played in quick spurts.
The co-op and competitive multiplayer of Badland GOTY edition is simple and quick at best. It is fun to try and work together to reach the end of various levels, and yet equally as satisfying when going against your friends as well. However the charm of competitive multiplayer doesn’t last very long or have the same resonance as the co-op or single player levels do. Much of the same obstacles from single player can be found in both multiplayer modes, as well as a bunch of levels to play, but again it all gets repetitive after playing through the first few levels. There is incentive to go back through the co-op levels again with up to four players to get better results, but that too loses its charm all too quickly.
Badland GOTY Edition has a lot to offer, more so than ever before, but feels too quick to burn out on home consoles. The stylized visuals are beautiful on a television screen and the controls are simple to get into, but the game gets repetitive and loses its steam early before anyone would want to complete all of the included 100+ levels. The multiplayer is a nice addition that can make for quick fun with three other friends, but still suffers from the same issues as the rest of the game.
If you want some quick fun that you can play from time to time, or something to keep company briefly entertained, then Badland GOTY Edition is a good choice for you. Those expecting to be entertained for extended periods of time on their consoles however, won’t find what they are looking for in this game.
This review was based on a digital copy of Badland: Game of the Year Edition for Xbox One provided by Frogmind Games.