More retro goodness hits the AppStore in the guise of the League of Evil…
As many of you know, I love a good retro game. Be it remakes or throwbacks, I love being taken back to the good old days of yore. League of Evil is an 8-bit throwback through-and-through, taking its cues from recent AppStore gems such as Canabalt and the Incident in visuals and sound, and the gameplay of platformers of old such as MegaMan and Bonic Commando. Another recent game you could compare it to is the hit Xbox Live Arcade and WiiWare title Super Meat Boy, it’s not as franticly fast as that game, but it has similarities.
In the game you are an elite agent, tasked to seek out and destroy a league of evil scientists, hell bent on creating weapons of mass destruction. Each level consists of a platforming medley of spikes, lasers, gun turrets, spinning hammers and League of Evil soldiers. And somewhere in these levels is a scientist to take out. The level ends when you do, and you then move on to the next in a linear fashion, but extra points – or stars in this case – are awarded to you if you complete it in a certain time, as well as picking up bonus briefcases along the way. Thanks to your characters’ double jump and wall clinging abilities you’ll be able to tackle most obstacles with care, but the element of being timed makes it all the more challenging, and even when you’ve competed a level you’ll want to replay again to get the full 3 stars available.
Platformers such as this are pretty much only as good as their control setup. You can throw every platforming trick in the book at a game, but if the controls fail to react to your input then you may as well give up and go home. Thankfully, League of Evil’s controls are perfectly balanced and I found myself breezing through the opening levels almost on autopilot, thanks to the familiar and classically intuitive feel of the onscreen button setup.
The presentation is all 8-bit, and after playing the 3D-sex-fest of Dead Space, it’s a great change of pace to be taken back to basics. Your little pixel guy runs, jumps and flying kicks with grace, as well as great little details such as enemy pixel-decapitations. There are over 50 levels in all, with every 10 given a new environment and soundtrack. Speaking of which, the music works beautifully in tandem with the 8-bit style. But again, I’m a sucker for retro!
All in you’ll get a couple of hours of classic platforming action, with added replay value of collecting all briefcases and earning stars, as well as unlocking a few OpenFeint based achievements such as ‘All your briefcase belong to us’.
8-bit chic continues, and doesn’t show any signs of losing momentum.