Badland is a side-scrolling platformer that is set in a very aesthetic forest full of mysterious
life, trees, and traps. Lots of traps.
It’s not the type of mobile game that you see every day, as the artistic and atmospheric value to it is absolutely unique.
I can’t help but remember World of Goo when I play this game, due to both sharing similar graphics, but neither is too similar to the other as the gameplay is quite different.
So, lets explore and find out what this strange world is all about then, shall we?
Badland is very straightforward and you realize that as soon as you begin playing.
The game does not offer tips and relies on you to figure out what’s going on, and that’s fair because it does not throw any complicated levels at you early on.
You are given enough time to learn how to control the character and its interactions with certain things, and there will be simple puzzles that require you to use the newfound mechanics so you can understand how it all works.
The levels of the game are fairly short and are filled with checkpoints that make it very simple to get back into the action without losing much progress. You always move in the rightward direction once you start moving, and the left-side screen then tries to overtake you, and you lose if that happens due to not tapping/bouncing at the right times.
Each level is filled with different gameplay elements, which range from simply floating your playable character through various traps and obstacles – to getting random power-ups that make you bigger, smaller, faster, and slower (among other things).
At times you will find several clone companions to take with you, and often you’ll find them useable for certain puzzles or paths, which will most likely cause them to either get stuck at previous points of the level while you advance.
The main goal is for your character to survive, and so every other clone that you encounter is expendable.
Even if you complete a level with several of your clones alive, they won’t be carried onward.
The graphics of Badland are very aesthetic and are a treat to watch while you play.
The ‘playable’ layer of things is simple and dark, whereas the backgrounds are populated and beautifully generated, full of mysterious creatures and wonderful environments.
However, it can get a little repetitive at times if you play through the entire game because the colors are very similar to each other even in the later levels.
The sound design is crisp and atmospheric, the game does not feature much music and instead you will hear the natural life around you, such as crickets, birds chirping and so on. There are also proper sounds for all the interactions you will have in the game, such as trees and objects moving with your touch, or the blades of a fan pushing you onward.
The UI and polish of the game are great, you won’t find anything feeling like it’s rough around the edges and all the menus and pop-ups are self-explanatory enough.
However, I need to add that the ‘Free’ version of the game is outright unplayable. There’s an ad if you die, there’s an ad if you complete a level, there’s an ad if you just breathe – the ads are endless and make the game impossible to play. And when the ads stop, the game then gives you prompts to buy the full version.
You can consider my review meant for the paid version of the game because I’d rate the free one lower due to its unplayable state of ads, but this might be corrected in the future.
Badland is one of the best and most atmospheric mobile games that you can play on your phone, with its enigmatic puzzles and addictive gameplay, the game will keep you engrossed.