This game was recommended by Scott, WordPress’s Heavy Metal OverloRd. Thanks for the rec, Scott!
Free game on Android / iOS / Blackberry 10!*
Traveling through a creepy forest and swamp as a fuzzy ball of a creature isn’t all it’s made up to be, especially when there are sharp objects ready to poke you, bolders to kill you and other clones of your kind that want to hang out with you. Meanwhile, sinister-looking rabbits look on beyond the bayou as you try not to commit suicide navigating gears of death that appear along the way. This is the main premise of BADLAND, a game available for free (with ads) that I played on my Android tablet.
The goal of BADLAND is to navigate your fuzzy buddy through the dark obstacle course that is his life. Along the way, he eats things that make him expand to twice his size, or reduce him down to a speck of dust. These abilities can aid him through certain sections along the course, but can also be a detriment, as in the case when he gets fat, he gets heavy an slows down. The side-scrolling belt-line landscape moves forward, and stops for no one, so if your fella doesn’t catch up, he dies. He also picks up other dudes of his kind along the way, which, if you manage to save any by the end of the course, you gain achievements. The courses are very challenging; one can expect to kill off their fuzzy buddy several times in a course, especially in the higher levels. The more you advance, the more violent the courses become.
The mechanics of this game are basically taking your finger and tapping the tablet screen in order to get your fuzzy bud to move and fly. This was a bit awkward for me, since I am a southpaw, and the instructions were telling me to tap the right side of the screen. I got used to things, and the game adapted well to me tapping the left of the screen, which was great. So, lefties: you’ll do fine with this game.
The look of the game reminds me of a very sinister Alice in Wonderland; fantastic and strange. The scenes are made even richer with an interesting soundtrack of birds, insects and frogs chirping.
BADLAND is a different kind of game – addictive for sure. At the same time, my sensitive side kept surfacing. Here was this cute fuzzy creature who was thrown into all kinds of shit, in very unforgiving territory, only to get murdered violently…seemingly on a loop. I have to admit, my moral compass spun around a couple of times thinking that I was basically this fuzzy dude’s savior, until I reminded myself: “Geez, it’s only a game, Sarca…” and that likely these feelings surfaced because the fuzzy dude is a cutie-pie. If it looked like the creature from Silent Hill, I might have had a different perspective!
At any rate, you can’t do much better than free*, and BADLAND gives you some decent challenges. Check it out!
*Free with ads. You can buy the no-ad version in game (which I didn’t bother with)