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Video Game / Badland

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"I enjoy Badland for its simplicity of control and objective, but I enjoy it especially for its complexity of feel and challenges. It dares me to think out of the box to find ways to improve on scores when possibilities are limitless but obscure. The physics and art were done with absolute dedication which adds a huge bonus. Just a few reasons why Badland has monopolized my playtime the past year."
Ogster, the leader in clones saved in Badland, quoted on The Badland Forums

Badland is a 2013 indie iOS/Android game developed by Frogmind. You control a round, fuzzy Player Character flapping its way through the 2D levels while collecting 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.

The story is simple. You are an unnamed character who lives in a 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 its 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 exclusive to Apple devices, though it was later released for Android devices and also Blackberry.

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 it possible to do on a phone.

Coming May 26-29, 2015, Frogmind are releasing a console and Steam version of the game and will be released, in hardware format, to the PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox One, Wii U, and via Steam. The console version is being released as Badland: Game of the Year Edition. It will be similar to the app version but with new controls, more complex levels, and better graphics. Some features include the ability of the clone to move anywhere on the screen and self-adjusted screen speed, as well as the Clone being able to trigger things and use things in the game. More about it can be found here:

In December 2015, Frogmind surprised the world by releasing Badland 2, a follow up to the original game taking a new twist: omnidirectional (2D) levels, adding numerous factors to the gameplay, and adding a cryptic backstory that can begin to be deciphered. In it, Clony begins in the trademark woods but as he travels through icy terrain and a futuristic world, he battles replicants, escapes the more difficult traps laid for him, and discovers more of the true reason why the bots are in this forest and what clony really is.

In June 2016, native Finland company SuperCell acquired Frogmind and announced that more Free-To-Play games were being developed based in the Badland universe, while Frogmind would still develop independently from supercell. In November 2017, Frogmind soft launched a spinoff game called Badland Brawl, a Clash Royale-esque game where cartoon Badland characters launch at each other Angry Birds style to try and destroy each other’s towers. Interestingly, Clony seems to be absent from this game.

A video about the original game can be found here, and the official website and forums here.

Unrelated to the 1984 game Badlands by Konami. Or to the 1973 film Badlands by Terrence Malick.

The Badland video game series 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.
    • As with Eternal Day bringing more official levels, not only do you have to beat a new level every week and all its missions, the amount of clones saved in achievements increased, and the levels aren't compensating for it either
    • 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 throughout 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.
  • Foreshadowing: The giant robots that pop up and disappear throughout 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.
  • Portal Network: How the main character gets from one place to the next.

Badland 2

  • 100% Completion: Like the first game, you have the missions that are even more insanely hard, the clone saving achievements (which is no small task), and one trying every level, Badland 2 introduces racing levels and requirements to finish in a certain amount of time.
  • Advancing Boss of Doom: All of the replicant levels, starting with "Replicants"
    • After heading up on Deminer, to accomplish the achievement "Awake the Lost guardian"
  • All There in the Manual: Although the game tells most of the backstory, much of it is left up to interpretation. However, on the Badland Forums, the developers have developed the story completely inviting the viewer to go back and see how the story is integrated with the hints left, including the revealing truth that the replicants are actually dead Clonys
  • Allegedly Free Game: Played Straight only for Android players. The developers strangely decided to have iOS players pay the full price up front, but on Android devices, it's free to download, only it's loaded with ads, requests to spend money on the full version, and annoying wait times to continue with the after dying so many times. Buying the full game gets rid of all of that and gets you the expansion as well.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory!: Omnidirectional gameplay brought tapping the left side of the screen to have Clony go left, and the right side for Clony to go right. Even makes the original game more difficult when you realize that, after playing this game, you can't tap to go left anymore...
  • Disc-One Final Boss
  • Everything Trying to Kill You: Less so than the first game, but the levels are longer and more intricate traps.
  • Fade to Black
  • Gravity Screw: Now Gravity can revolve around rotating planets, only have so big of an atmosphere of influence, or change as you go. Doesn't help that rolling clony's can't fly in this game like the first one. Sometimes it's so bad the game exhibits Selective Gravity
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Inferno levels
  • Marathon Level: The game's difficulty also attributes to the length of the levels, with some of the levels having their racing time to finish first as long as 8 minutes, much longer than the first game. Expect to take more than half an hour on one of those levels, and many more hours trying to even get it done in one try or to beat the racing time.
  • Meta Multiplayer: Exclusively for iOS players, the original platform for the game.
    • An iOS exclusive is the Multiplayer mode with specially made levels having players competing to save the most clones, finish the fastest, or survive the longest
  • Multi-Mook Melee: Levels in the Bonus Levels pack retain replicants, and although they may not be boss status, they are annoying as frick. You eventually use them against their own traps allowing you to win.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Frozen levelpack
  • Took a Level in Badass: Rolly, an upgrade to the rolling Clony in the first game, even takes a level further in the Infinity pack when he becomes the one eyed rolly that can't even be hurt by saws or smashing blocks.