Game of the Month, April 2013: Badland

Developers have been pumping out loads of great games this year, and April was no exception. Whether you wanted to play a huge, classic RPG like Final Fantasy V, or get the wits scared out of you with Eyes – The Horror Game, the App Store had you covered. But only one game can receive our coveted prize for April, and this month it’s Badland.

Badland, developed by Frogmind, puts you in control of a fluffy winged creature–but instead of a cartoonish creation like in Angry Birds or Tiny Wings, you’re a glum-looking thing that can barely keep itself aloft. The art is fantastic, with detailed, colorful backgrounds, and a bleak, silhouetted foreground, where the action takes place.

This is a single-button game, so you flap your wings by pressing on the screen. The camera moves forward automatically, and your job is to navigate through all the tricky environmental obstacles the game throws in your way, like movable logs and whirring saw blades. Power-ups let you grow, shrink, and multiply, adding a large dash of strategy to this weird, wonderful title.

Our runner-up for Game of the Month is Robot Unicorn Attack 2 by Adult Swim. This candy-colored title takes place in a fantastical bizarro world in the sky. Like in the original, this sequel has you controlling the titular beast as it dashes and leaps through the air from platform to platform. The great thing about this iteration, oddly enough, is its freemium elements. As you play, you can customize your unicorn, rank up, and compete in global team-based challenges. They’ve even included a handful of amazing ’80s background tracks that can be downloaded for a buck apiece. It’s free to download, so be sure to pick up Robot Unicorn Attack 2 if you haven’t already.

Congratulations to both Frogmind and Adult Swim for making two of our favorite iOS games last month. For more Must Have games released in April, check out They Need to be Fed 2, Eyes – The Horror Game, Gemini Rue, Mr. Crab, Cut the Rope: Time Travel, Final Fantasy V, Magicka, and Tiny Troopers 2: Special Ops.

  • Josh Dombro

    Not trying to get crushed here, just looking for an honest answer – what makes this game so amazing?

    The graphics look great and it seems like an interesting, but small, twist on an endless runner. I realize that there are levels and that they’re more challenging (or at least different) than repeating the same course over and over, but there are some really fun games like that too (such as Robot Unicorn Attack 2). What makes this game so much better, and worth $3.99 which is a lot in iPhone terms?

    Again, not putting it down. The game looks like a lot of fun, just trying to find out what puts it over the top. If Chris or someone from Slide to Play, or just anyone who’s played and enjoyed it, could address this I’d be really thankful.

    • http://www.slidetoplay.com/ Andrew Podolsky

      Fair enough, there are plenty of flying/running games out there. However, Badland isn’t endless– each level is really thoughtfully designed. For example, if you inflate or deflate your flying hedgehog thing too much, you might not be able to lift branches or squeeze through tiny openings. The graphics are also some of the best you’ll see on a Retina display. Too bad this game doesn’t have a lite version, then you could try before you buy.

      • Josh Dombro

        I totally agree about the lite version, it seems great, but as I have RUA2 and several other similar-ish games on my phone right now, I’m not going to rush out to spend $4 on a new one. That said, I really do want to play it, and will certainly pick it up if it goes on sale any time soon.

        Thanks for the civil and informative response, Andrew.

        • pholly

          I had a lot more fun with RUA2 than this game, if you’re not sure I’d definitely recommend waiting.

          • Josh Dombro

            Appreciate the advice, I guess that’s the plan for now

    • pholly

      I feel the same way and started typing up a similar response but didn’t want to get crapped on because I don’t love this game. It’s good but I don’t understand why so many people seem to love it like its something special.

  • rodgerodger

    While Badland is a single-button auto-runner it’s not at all like RUA2. It’s much more like Rayman Run.

    For my money, having predefined levels rather than randomly generated endless running is much more interesting. Badland isn’t the same level over and over, the game continually adds new power-ups and mechanics as you get farther into the game. You become bigger, smaller, faster, sticky, bouncy, multiply until there are a couple dozen of you on screen at once, ect. Plus for your $4 there’s no IAP to worry about.

    I’m not saying people are crazy for not liking Badland, just that the comparison to RUA2 is crazy:)