Badland was our runner-up for 2013 Game of the Year, and two years later there’s a brand new sequel. Badlands 2 maintains the flying action adventure style jam packed with chaotic action set against gorgeous colorful backdrops which are silhouetted through black foreground. The sequel takes the essence of Badland, and simplifies it beginning with the ability to move in all directions, so it isn’t just a side scroller anymore. The one touch controls blend into new two direction controls to move left and right, and you can tap both buttons at the same time to rise, or release to drop. The new system allows for all new level layouts that span greater distances as the path forward moves all around.
Badland 2 launches with 40 single player campaign levels, and each one builds upon where the original left off after numerous updates. The new levels are significantly longer than the levels in the original, and yet the great checkpoint system returns to simply leave you engrossed with the intense action for longer. The best part of Badlands is the living environments coupled with the various power-ups, and that system is amplified greatly. Badlands 2 maintains the power-ups to change the size and clone the main character, but there are more pick-ups available that send you right into new liquid effects, freeze rays, and flamethrowers. There are also many more of the old standbys of spinning blades, bombs, and falling objects. The scene is always jam packed with something to be cognizant of, and it’s a treat to see everything fire off as you fly through even if you end up losing 20 clones in the process.
The new level layouts and mechanics of Badland 2 offers a fresh challenge that reinvigorates interest if you’re familiar with the original, or throws you right into the fire if you’re new. It feels like a brand new game that is still familiar. It’s hard to believe that the action could become more chaotic than the original Badland, but the developers have definitely delivered that in the sequel. It can be exhausting to make it through any individual stretch, and that’s what makes the quick checkpoints so great, and yet the challenge isn’t diluted, because there’s so much to deal with. The sequel not only introduces levels that span all four directions, but there are also levels that play more like traditional platformers as your flying main character is transformed into a rolling entity. There’s never a dull moment when you’re playing in the Badlands, and you can compete online in timed global events with varying objectives. All of the action is delivered beautifully with the excellent audiovisual experience that is even better in the sequel.
Badland 2 ($4.99, Universal) delivers an exhilarating and enjoyable experience that is like no other on iOS, and an absolute must have to partake in.