Badland: Game of the Year Edition

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Badland: Game of the Year Edition Game Poster Image
Fun, challenging side-scrolling fantasy adventure.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Minor themes to do with environmentalism, with forest creatures endangered by encroaching machine menaces.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The player's character is a forest creature named Clony on an adventure to see what's going wrong in his forest. He's curious, aims simply to discover, survive.

Ease of Play

Easy to pick up, challenging to finish. Requires deft maneuvering, button tapping to avoid traps, obstacles. Levels are very short, so players lose little progress when they fail.

Violence & Scariness

Flapping fantastical creatures take damage by bumping into spikes, lasers, gears, crushers, and other obstacles, potentially causing them to bounce around the screen or be disintegrated.    

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Badland: Game of the Year Edition is a downloadable side-scrolling action game ported from mobile devices to consoles and PCs. Players control a small, black, flappy fellow who flies through traps and obstacles on a wordless mission to figure out what's gone wrong in his forest. He can be hurt by running into lasers, spikes, and gears that can cause him to bounce around the screen or even disintegrate, but there's no blood or gore. Light themes of environmentalism permeate the story, thanks to the growing presence of machine menaces within the forest. Multiplayer is restricted to local play, so there's no worries about any online dangers.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 14 years old Written byCooltiger37 June 30, 2018

Cool, creative side-scrolling game; watch out for iffy fan content

This is a pretty good game, with interesting graphics, creative powerups, beautiful forest settings, and gameplay that manages to entertain without being too ea... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bygamergrl13 June 14, 2018

It's ok

I recommend the mobile version more than the PC version. Anyway, this game is fun, has different levels, and the music/sounds and graphics are beautiful. Think... Continue reading

What's it about?

Players take control of a creature named Clony in BADLAND: GAME OF THE YEAR EDITION, the console version of an award-winning mobile side-scrolling adventure. Clony's journey is set in a forest filled with obstacles and traps that he must avoid by flapping his stubby little wings to give himself just the right amount of lift to fly through narrow passages. He has to be quick about it; the screen never stops moving from left to right, so if Clony gets stuck and the left side engulfs him, it's game over. That means players need to pay attention to obstacles as they approach, working out how best to approach them. This also involves deciding whether to pick up transformative power-ups along the way, including items that can grow Clony in size, shrink him, or -- true to his name -- clone him into multiple entities. Sometimes one or more of these clones must be sacrificed by, say, traversing dead-end passages and performing an action that opens the way for the rest of the group. Groups of cloned Clonys are controlled as one, with each input action moving all members. Up to four friends can play a local multiplayer mode that sees players vying to outlast one another, potentially pushing each other into objects and traps.

Is it any good?

It's pretty clear that Badland was made for bite-size play sessions on mobile devices. The levels, while redesigned for consoles, are very short for a couch game, and the controls are a smidgeon too simplistic -- even with the added ability to use a control stick to control speed and direction rather than simply tap to control lift. Everything is optimized nicely, and the controls feel natural, but most players are used to (and probably expect) something a bit more complex when playing on a console.

But that's not to say this version of the popular side-scroller isn't challenging or fun. It's still a great little game with a gorgeous silhouette art style and a ton of personality (the glowing-eyed animals spied in level backgrounds remain wonderfully enigmatic). Working out how to get past cleverly designed obstacles and traps -- even if it's sometimes simply a process of trial and error -- is generally quite rewarding, and the slowly evolving story, simple though it may be, still manages to sink in a couple of hooks. Badlands: Game of the Year Edition isn't going to blow people's minds the way the original mobile version did for people playing it on phones, but the satisfying mechanics and quality of craftsmanship still shine through. There's much here to enjoy.      

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about screen time. This game has very short levels, making it conducive to short play sessions; which other games lend themselves to quick bursts of interactive entertainment?

  • Discuss the impact our machine-driven civilization has on jungles and forests. What sorts of dangers, direct and indirect, do machines pose to nature?

Game details

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