Badland is a 2013 indie IOS game made by Frogmind. The game has you control an unnamed creature as you drift through the 2D levels, each level corresponding to one day in the game’s storyline. This game includes a variety of power-ups to help you in your goal, the most powerful of which is the ability to create clones of your creature to effectively have back-up lives. There are also pre-existing clones in some points of the level, which can be rescued by your character.
The story is simple. You are a not-named character
who lives in a The Lost Woods
setting. The story takes place during two separate days
, over the course of Dawn, Noon, Dusk, and Night
time periods per day. Your character is flying through this already somewhat dangerous forest when giant Egg-shaped robots begin to emerge out of the water and background and begin to take over the forest. You are trying to rescue this creature and his clones, and ultimately, you are trying to find out what's going on and how to stop these machines.
Along the way, you realize everything in the forest is trying to kill you
. The days get progressively Darker and Edgier
and the rabbits and creatures in the background are being tied up and hung, and possibly killed.
It's your job to figure out what's going on.
Badland won Apple's independent Game of the Year award for 2013 and for a while was specific only to Apple devices. It was later released for Android devices and also Blackberry. However, it was released for Android as free for the first day and the consumer had to buy any other level packs or purchase the full game.
Badland is also a pioneer in Co-Op Multiplayer
and Competitive Multiplayer
on the same screen
. Up to four people can control their own set of clones on the same device and have unique power-ups and sets of clones. As can be expected, this works better on tablets or bigger screens
but it also works for smaller screens as well.
This game also has a reputation to be Nintendo Hard
and Darker and Edgier
than most games on the App Store.
This game provides examples of the following tropes:
- 100% Completion: One in-game achievement is to save 2500 clones. Before the Doomsday level pack was released, less than 5 people had accomplished that out of more than 5 million.
- With the release of Doomsday, it has become more manageable. However, a new achievement in the update is to complete all Doomsday levels in 1 try. Even the most hardcore Badlander has a very difficult time accomplishing this.
- Advancing Wall of Doom: The primary hazard in all levels, especially as there are many bends in the level geometry where your creature can get trapped and not have time to get out.
- Anti-Frustration Features: The game has infinite lives, plenty of checkpoints throughtout each level and upon death the character is quickly reloaded without any intermediary screens.
- Bookends: Day I starts with the creature popping out of a pipe and ends with it coming out of the same pipe, setting up Day II.
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: It's all you see of the rabbits or creatures in the background, but also sometimes it's how you know where your clone is.
- Color-Coded Characters: The characters in either multiplayer mode.
- Competitive Multiplayer: 24 levels have been released for up to four people to play against each other on the same screen.
- Co-Op Multiplayer: A level pack was released featuring all of the Day I levels redone for up to four people at once, with new missions and new clone counts yet none of it counts towards any leader boards or total clone count
- Damn You, Muscle Memory: Can happen quite frequently with the many physics-based puzzles being similar yet different from one level to the next.
- Darker and Edgier:
- The game has also been compared to Limbo and the DarkSouls of mobile gaming.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Played Straight and Inverted: Your creature is Black and all of the scenery you can touch is black but also, all the machines are white and all the machinery that can kill you is dark. Watch out for them both
- Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: "Oh no, another clone died."
- With all of the clones they give you in some levels, you can usually still have plenty of backup.
- Also with all of the Anti-Frustration Features such as infinite lives and many checkpoints, recovering from dying is as easy as restarting from the last checkpoint.
- Deliberately Monochrome: Downplayed: while most objects are drawn in shades of black and the background is defined by yellow, other colours do slip in sometimes.
- Difficulty By Acceleration: Can and does happen. A trick by some is to purposefully avoid the power ups that make the screen go faster.
- Eternal Engine: Later levels take place in a weird, possibly abandoned factory.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: And how. Not taken to the extremes like Limbo but, as can be seen from the very first level, you never know what might fall from the ceiling, what "vegetation" might crush you faster than you can do anything about or when a saw might randomly appear. '''Everything''' could be trying to kill you.
- Fade to Black: The screen does this at death while transitioning to the last checkpoint
- Inverted: Unlike any other level, the last level remains incomplete and fades to white.
- Faceless Eye
- Foreshadowing: The giant robots that pop up and disappear throughout the game
- Frickin' Laser Beams: One of the most annoying obstacles in the game
- Gravity Screw: An obstacle in the game includes gravity directions activated by buttons, but depends on the direction the arrows on screen are pointed. This can lead to all kinds of Gravity Screw when the arrows roll around amongst other things.
- Hell Is That Noise:
- Interface Spoiler: The "hidden achievements" are told to you right in the settings under "achievements".
- Jump Scare: Although not meant to be a horror game, and fairly tame scares at that, some moments can certainly startle you.
- When the lights go out and you can't see anything, Lights come on and Saw...
- Kaizo Trap: Inverted. There can be Spikes Of Doom, Giant Boulders, and saws lining up by the end and in the process of Killing You but when you get sucked up by the end pipe, You're safe regardless
- The Lost Woods: Complete with fairy tale sparkles and rainbows, which certainly provides an essence of Surprise Creepy.
- Meaningful Name: Clony, for one.
- With a name like Fury and eyes like his, you had better watch out.
- Although, A name like Snorfy makes you wondr.
- Multiplayer Difficulty Spike: All players better be good or the difficulty level jumps significantly.
- Nintendo Hard: Oh crap... Not another frickin clone.
- No Plot? No Problem!: All you know is that you need to get through the levels and you can save the clones. The rest is shrouded in mystery.
- No Sell:
- The sticky and bouncy power-ups make you immune to saw blades, but you're still vulnerable to being crushed.
- Being turned into a cube prevents being crushed.
- Nothing Is Scarier: When you see nothing ahead, know something is up. Even the music becomes Quieter Than Silence sometimes
- Oh, Crap: The creature's eyes open wide if he is close to the Advancing Wall of Doom.
- One Hitpoint Wonder: The main character and his clones are this.
- Our Monsters Are Different: Quite often, you'll see some ominous creatures like a very large black rabbit with glowing eyes in the background. That said, they never actually attack and are only there to provide atmosphere.
- The Robots Who Don't Do Anything: Other than provide mood and an Excuse Plot...
- Portal Network: How the main character gets from one place to the next
- Quieter Than Silence: Worse than seeing nothing ahead is hearing no noise at all...
- Reflecting Laser: A common problem in the game.
- Scenery Porn: The art in the game is very detailed and very distracting
- Sequel Hook: The last level of Day II has you fly in front of a giant red eye See Foreshadowing.
- Sequel Difficulty Spike:
- Shout-Out: The Level Centipede
- Sinister Scraping Sound: Heard a few times
- Spikes Of Doom: A frequent hazard in the game.
- Tron Lines: Several of the later levels, in particular Clonetron, have these.