‘Badland’ Review: Must-Play Action Puzzle Game

Feeling like you need a little more action-adventure to your daily grind? If you’re a Clony, may not so much. What’s a Clony? Well, we’re here to tell you. Clony’s are the stars of Badland, an award-winning puzzle, platforming, side-scrolling mobile game that is about to rob you of your every waking hour (if it hasn’t already). Pack a lunch, because it’s time to go on a “two day” adventure and dive into this colorfully dangerous world and try to make it through alive.

Badland is developed by Frogmind Games and was released on Android and iOS way back in 2013. It was later released on consoles and is also available on Steam. As we continue to dig through the Google Play store for older titles to recommend, this action adventure game is one we think you’re going to really like. Players control Clony, a little scruffy black creature with tiny flapping wings, through the course of a single, harrowing day. Each day is split into four parts: Dawn, Noon, Dusk and Night, and each of these focus on how the world becomes more and more dangerous as treacherous machines scattered about the landscape come to eerie, awesome life. Clony’s mission is to end the journey and make the lands viable again. No easy task. Currently the game features Day 1 and 2 while other modes are yours if the premium upgrade is purchased.

Badland gameplay mechanics are very easy to learn. It’s a touch-based control scheme in an endless runner kind of way with a side scroller cross over feel. Clony flies into each map and gets transported to the next section at the end of each through a tube that carries it to the next level. There is no standing still because the screen gradually keeps chugging along, making it not only dangerous but also a time-management journey. Sometimes, it is designed like a puzzle-like maze to move rocks or maneuver through the tight spaces.

There are a few important features to highlight that really add some depth to the game. First is that Clony, hinted by it’s rather obvious name, can produce–you guessed it–clones. They fly along with Clony though the goal is also to save clones plopped around each map. Its a simple little maneuver, simply flying over and picking them up. You can see them by approaching an orb-like piece on the map. Some pieces will have one clone and others can be yield many.

Badland

Another feature is the many different orbs that Clony can acquire which gives a different ability. Some will make him bigger and some vice versa. Some will allow him to roll forward or backward (those are the hardest to master). Others will create weight and others will increase speed. There are others to be discovered.

The final feature would be the incredibly beautiful, jaw-dropping visuals. The environments loom in the background with these ever-so-subtle movements here and there that poses a real natural and gorgeous backdrop to the game happening in the forefront. And that forefront is mostly silhouetted in rich ebony black from Clony (save for those big precious brightly-colored eyes) to the machines rising to life. The art style is so pretty, you might not want to move Clony for a bit just to admire it a few moments longer.

As we continue to dive into the Google Play store and find mobile game gems we missed the first time ’round, Badland is now on top of that growing list. It comes at no surprise that it has won so many awards and even acquired a Game of the Year title. The game mechanics are easy to learn and yet still requires a reasonable gradual mastering. There are puzzles to solve in figuring out when to acquire certain abilities to move through certain sections of obstacles, so yes, there’s a good bit of challenge, but it’s never frustrating, instead rather rewarding when you totally overcome the obstacles. Clony is an absolutely cute little creature. Cute might not quite be the right adjective but like our little friend Yarny in Unravel, he may seem helpless but his abilities make him incredibly useful for the amazing journey. Give this game a play.

‘Badland’ Review: Must-Play Action Puzzle Game

Credits

Genre: Action, Adventure, Indie
Developer: Frogmind
Publisher: Frogmind

4.5
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