Note: Since originally writing this article, Badland 2 was released for Android in September 2016 but is strangely no longer available for download.
Still waiting for Badland 2 to be released for Android so in the meantime. we’re revisiting its predecessor from 2013 aka Badland.
For the unfamiliar, Badland and Badland 2 are atmospheric side-scrolling adventure games where you manipulate a squishy black creature called Clony through a world that becomes increasingly perilous as you pick your way through it. The physics are really fun in this game as you fly Clony around this beautifully designed universe by tapping fast or slow. Think Flappy Bird style controls or even Joust if you want to really reach back.
There is a whole storyline to discover in both Badland games which I won’t reveal here since it’s much more fun to discover as you go along. Just the immersive nature of these games is enough to keep you engaged to the point where I don’t even get all that frustrated when my character gets smushed by a deadly gear. Interestingly, Clony‘s size is not fixed, so when he eats certain items, he gets super tiny enabling him (is it male??)to fit through some tight spaces (see my screenshot). Other times he’ll swell to a larger more bulbous form making it tougher for him to squeeze through.
It is very pleasing to navigate through all of the moving mechanisms in Badland as Clony gets gently nudged forward by gears and various devices. But be warned: if you find yourself in a tight spot and you can’t get out, you will be crushed and will pop like an oily balloon. There are about 100 levels to pass through and they get tougher and tougher as you move along. This is the kind of sidescroller where you can only move forward, so if you end up beyond stage left, you’ll have to start over. Very engaging game that is still quite beautiful to look at.