If you’ve played Doodle God, you know that combining different elements will result in something brand new. If you combined Doodle Jump and Minigore, you’d get Volcano Escape, a vertical platformer with a run-and-gun twist. Oh, and you’ve got to stay one step ahead of a rapidly rising floor of lava.
You play as Colonel Charlie Bravo, or one of a handful of unlockable characters, as they’re ceremonially dumped into an active volcano. You have to run and jump up the platforms while shooting at the natives and various enchanted minions who are also trapped in the volcano with you.
Charlie vs. the Volcano.
While this mash-up of two popular games seems like a good idea, the execution in Volcano Escape is a bit of a mixed bag. For example, the backgrounds are all extremely detailed, with bright orange lava setting the ancient carvings aglow. But as a result, the game can become choppy, even on a 4th generation iPod Touch.
Also, the platforming controls are not exactly perfect. Instead of jumping and landing with a feeling of realistic weight, your character drifts like he’s made of air. Wall-jumping and sticking precise landings, which is crucial if you want to survive the volcano’s wrath, can feel like a crapshoot. Plus, the jump button is a bit too close to the fire button, leading to some accidental discharges.
It’s getting hot in here!
Still, you should consider a purchase of Volcano Escape, especially if you enjoy high-score platformers. It’s got Game Center integration, some interesting unlockable characters, and the top scores of your fellow sacrifices will scroll by as you scurry higher. It also looks great, even if the graphical overload makes high-end iOS devices chug.
Volcano Escape is a commendable mash-up of some of the App Store’s most popular genres, but it could still use some fixes. Floaty, imprecise controls are our biggest complaint, but other than that, you won’t get burned if you buy it.