Badland was developed and published by Frogmind on Xbox One. It was released on May 29, 2015 for $9.99. A copy was provided by Frogmind for review purposes.
Badland is one of the most popular mobile phone games ever, so I guess it’s no surprise to see it finally making the long-awaited transition to home consoles. Developer Frogmind have certainly talked a good game and are promising that this Game of the Year Edition features a huge raft of new and upgraded content, including over 100 levels, plus a load of multiplayer features.
For those (like me) who are pretty new to Badland, the game is a side-scrolling, physics-derived puzzle-platformer that features a chasing camera (think the original Mario Bros.) to ensures a frenetic pace. The sumptuous, hand-drawn graphics mask challenging and varied gameplay that is dished out in bite-sized levels. There is an element of trial and error in most games like this, but Badland does well to ease the pain with its generous checkpoint system.
Terraria was originally developed by Re-Logic; 505 Games developed and published the Xbox 360 port. It was released March 27, 2013 for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
At its heart, Terraria is a 2D side scrolling platform game which features a range of RPG, mining, crafting and world building mechanics. With such a unique mixture of gameplay styles and influences, one could be forgiven for thinking that Terraria should lack depth or substance. The reality is quite contrary however, and Terraria may actually be one of the deepest and most engaging titles within the Xbox Live Arcade catalog.
Terraria presents the player with such a huge range of activities to participate in, at such a variable pace, that it really is the ultimate sandbox game. Unlike Minecraft or Spelunky which respectively allow players to wander aimlessly in relative safety or punish them brutally along an increasingly difficult path, Terraria presents both options as slowly or as quickly as you can manage.
Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit was developed by Arkedo Games and published by Sega. It was released September 26, 2012 in North America and a week later in the UK for 1200 MSP. A copy was provided for review purposes.
It’s difficult to classify Hell Yeah! in a single easy statement. Arkedo’s Xbox Live Arcade debut draws heavily upon classic games such as Sonic, Mario, WarioWare, Parodius, Mortal Kombat and just about everything in-between, but remains almost entirely unique at the same time. Put simply, Hell Yeah! is one of the most enjoyable XBLA titles we’ve played this year, despite the occasional flaw and my own reservations about some of the humor.
The game begins with the most tenuous of story lines as Ash (the Dead Rabbit Prince of Hell and main protagonist of Hell Yeah!) is pictured in the act of bathing with his rubber duck by a nosy paparazzi. The pictures are quickly uploaded to the Hell-ternet and much embarrassment follows for our hero. Determined to have his revenge (and to recover the photos) Ash sets out to defeat one hundred and one monsters across a range of unique and interesting worlds.
The “point and click” adventure game genre simply refuses to die. Ron Gilbert, creative mastermind behind Monkey Island, leads Double Fine‘s upcoming console-bound return to adventure games, The Cave. Gilbert isn’t redesigning the wheel here (though I wouldn’t put it past him) but The Cave definitely has everything for the contemporary adventure game fan.
The Cave is an adventure game of the 2D platform and puzzle variety wherein you guide three characters along a journey through a mysterious, question-answering cave. Seven characters — amongst them a Hillbilly, Knight, Scientist, Monk, Time Traveler, Adventurer and a set of creepy Twin children — each find themselves with a deep desire which they believe the cave can satisfy. Though they have an overt motive for venturing into the cave, Gilbert says there’s something deeper going on in The Cave.
Update: The trading system does not actually involve ripping off faces of any sort. The Behemoth has clarified that rather there is a trading post in-game where players can view their other players’ inventories and select what they want and the other player can do the same.
The Behemoth, developers behind XBLA sensation Castle Crashers and upcoming title Battleblock Theater, were kind of enough to meet with me at San Diego Comic Con. During that fantastic interview with Dan Paladin he revealed and explained Battleblock Theater’s unlock and trading system. (Link to interview forthcoming)
Fans and players of Castle Crashers will recall the massive frogelope (antler laden frog, I don’t know) wherein all the weaponry was stored was sometimes more trophy case than armory as players without the unlocked weapons could not access them. To circumvent that players would take the weapons into levels, swap them for easy to find weapons and allow newer players to pickup the rarer weapons they didn’t have. Dan says Behemoth got get rid of all that convolution and put in a full-fledged trading system into Battleblock Theater.