App of the day: Badland review (iPhone)

Some apps are all about looks but don't deliver any gameplay; others look awful but can be addictive as hell. The real winners are those which combine both: Badlands is one of those apps.

Released recently on iOS for iPhone and iPad, it has received praise left, right and centre. But how does it actually play and should you gamble your beloved £2.49 on such a thing. We say yes. Read on to find out why.

Badland

Format
iPhone, iPad
Price
£2.49
Where
iTunes

The app from the outset looks absolutely fantastic. We have been testing it on our iPad 4 and the pin-sharp display makes the colourful palette and clever silhouttes stand out even more. 

The aim of the game is pretty simple. It reminds us of some of the classic Mario levels, the ones where the screen was constantly moving and you would die if you got trapped. You touch the screen to cause the furry blob you guide through the Badlands up or down. It is very similar to the classic Helicopter game.

While flying along, all sorts of nasties from the environment will try to thwart your efforts. Some will slow you down, while others - say a revolving set of paddles - might catapult you forward.

Along with this, there are small glowing blobs which will cause your character to either grow or shrink in size. The bigger you are, the heavier, meaning you need to hold your finger for longer on the screen in order to fly higher. The whole app is very physics heavy, but effortless in its simplicity. You will be hooked, if only to see what sort of graphical niceties are waiting for you in the next level.

The app also features a four-player mode. Each one of you uses the same device and each raises and lowers their character independently. It can be fun as well as highly frustrating as things aren't particularly forgiving for novice players. Right now, there are only 12 levels of multiplayer to enjoy but more are promised. The single player boasts more than 40, which is plenty to get stuck into.