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.
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, harder 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: http://ow.ly/Ipd1T
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 others towers. Interestingly, Clony seems to be absent from this game.
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.
- 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:
- 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:
- 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.
- Energy Weapon: One of the most annoying obstacles in the game.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. However, the Deliberately Monochrome background can actually make Night seem more beautiful than Noon or Dusk, contrary to the level difficulty.
- Level Editor: As of Sept 2015. And probably one of the most intricate and video game compiler true level editors out there for a game, letting the user do the math and connect values and create something a developer for such a game could come up with. Averted intentionally with Badland 2.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Spikes of Doom: A frequent hazard in the game.
- Tron Lines: Several of the later levels, in particular Clonetron, have these.
- Virgin Sacrifice: A level in the ETERNAL DAY, namely SACRIFY, is built all around these, as you have to intentionally kill clones with saws to progress.
- 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.