Badland: Game of Year Edition Hands-On Preview – Elegantly Simple (PS4, PS3, Vita)

Console gamers have historically given the cold shoulder to many of the games developed on the mobile market, with only a few exceptions in the past. Now, a new game that has been taking the mobile scene by storm is coming to the PS4, PS3, and Vita and just might be making some waves again on the console scene.

Badland: Game of the Year Edition is set around a mysterious little creature that must traverse a deadly forest by simply reaching the end of the level with at least one character left. While this may sound simple in nature, it is far from something that can be easily achieved. Using a number of pick-ups that either expand, shrink or multiply the number of characters on screen, your little creature must work his way through over 100 single player levels with 300 challenges, or 100 levels designed to be played over couch co-op with friends.

Instead of simply having all players race in a competitive nature, the co-op mode forces players to balance their own competitive spirit with helping their team in times of need. As everyone wants to be the one who makes it to the end, they can also force out their own teammates by moving too quickly and will have to rely on them to bend branches or open up pathways by taking alternative routes. Given the speed and hectic nature of Badland, players will be struggling to move through areas as they watch their partners or extra lives constantly drop off screen, only to be brought back by a single survivor so that they can do it all over again. 

On top of all of that, there is a versus mode with 27 levels that will have players pitted against each other in an arena styled match up as they fight to be the last one standing. Given the simplicity of the controls, but the elegant mechanics of Badland, players will be able play with gamers of all ages and experiences, but still find enough depth and challenge for even the most seasoned of gamers. 

While as I had said, Badland has its origins as a mobile title, it would a mistake to discount the game as something that doesn’t look like it is at home on the home console market. Using a wonderful array of coloring that almost makes the whole game look as if it was a water colored painting mixed with stark black ink, it creates a beautiful atmosphere that works incredibly well when put on a giant flat screen. So, while I may not always keep up to date on what is happening on the mobile end of the industry, I will be keeping an eye out for Badland: Game of the Year Edition when it hits PlayStation platforms in Spring of 2015.