Can you escape your sacrificial fate at the hands of Bravo’s fiery platformer?…
Volcano Escape is yet another endless style vertical platformer, along the lines of Doodle Jump, where your task is to achieve the highest score by reaching as high as you can within the belly of a Volcano.
You play one of six characters – of which only one is unlocked for play in the beginning – who has been taken prisoner by a gang of unruly tribesmen and hung in a cage above a fiery volcano for sacrifice. On being sacrificed your character is dropped to the volcano’s core, from where you must make your way back to the top.
Utilising virtual twin stick controls and a jump button, you must quickly jump from platform to platform, while avoiding various enemies, including tribesmen, elemental creatures and fantastical flying beasts. As you climb up, the lava at the bottom of the volcano begins to rise below you. If it catches you you burn to a cinder and its game over. Adding to that threat are the enemies scattered around the platforms. Many can be simply avoided, but some block you path and must be destroyed using your weapon. If you make contact with enemies your health is depleted, and once that has gone it’s game over too. Handily, once dead, an enemy is turned to stone and can be used to climb on and access higher platforms.
Controlling your character is a cinch using the virtual sticks and jump combo; and thanks to Mario style floaty jump, you can control your angle of descent as well as shoot enemies while in the air. Power-ups along your route give your character special abilities, such as; a shield from enemy contact, various weapon upgrades, and a rocket pack which propels you upwards at a quicker rate.
The structure of the game is that there is one level only, with the irony that you can never actually escape the volcano. Instead it’s all about how high you can reach. Each time you die the height is mapped onto the level as a marker, so next time you play you can see your previous height as you pass it. Your individual height results are also combine into one height stat. So, should you reach a combined height of 15,000 for example you can unlock a new character.
Characters seem to be simply visual upgrades rather than enhancing the gameplay. However, if you buy the Quarterback character, you do receive extra health… but for the price of half the game, it’s not really worth it.
Speaking of the visuals, Bravo Games have done a great job here to create a rich and colourful cartoon-like experience. Both the sound and visuals reminds me of great early PSOne games like Crash Bandicoot; with blocky but well animated characters, brightly textured scenery and fire effects, and toe tapping music.
While Volcano Escape is nothing original, its level of polish makes it a standout amongst the competition. Each time you play is different thanks to random platform and enemy positioning ensuring a level of replay-ability. And, while I would like to see this style of game across multiple levels as a more fully fledged platformer, the endless and addictive nature of the game keeps you coming back for more.
Volcano Escape is out now for $1.99. Get it on the