Is this platformer a Super Mario wannabe or a legitimate contender?
Wawa Land makes it quite obvious where it draws its inspiration. If there was a checklist of things you could find in a Mario game, it seems like the folks at Play Fripp had one in hand while making this game. Of course, they put their own spin on everything, so it does not feel like a complete Mario clone.
If you are going to borrow from Mario, then you have better nail the platforming, because we all know that the Mario games are as close to perfect as jumping on enemies and over pits can get. I will say, the platforming is not on Mario’s level, but it is certainly competent.
You control Wawa with an on screen joystick and use the contextual buttons to perform jumps and special attacks. The controls worked well most of the time, but the special attack button is quite a bit smaller than the jump button, and I would often jump when I did not mean to. This did lead to death for poor Wawa on a few occasions.
There was a couple of times where I did not land perfectly on top of one of the enemies and it would count that as me being hit. It seemed like the hit detection was a little too finite for a game played on a touch screen.
Speaking of death for Wawa, this game is challenging. Apparently, they issued a patch that balanced the difficulty recently, and I would hate to have seen what it was like before because it’s still pretty unforgiving. That’s not a knock against the game’s quality, because there is nothing wrong with a hard game. Rather, it is a warning for people who are looking for something a little more casual to stay away from Wawa Land.
The level variety is good, even if it is standard platformer stuff. Some levels are bright and cheery, and others dark and dreary. I am a big fan of the levels where you are riding in a cart and trying to time your jumps perfectly with no control over Wawa’s movement. These levels were difficult, but rewarding.
Wawa Land is a good-looking platformer. The characters hit just the right buttons with their level of cuteness, the worlds look beautiful and the animation is smooth. The art style is also well done, perfectly suited to the style of the game.
The sound design is right up there with the visuals. The sound effects are pleasant and the music is well done. It matches the theme of the levels quite well.
This is a pretty good platformer, but it does have some issues. Only two of the six worlds are available, which is not bad considering the game only costs $.99, but it still would be nice to have the whole game available. There are some small control issues that pop up now and then, but still, for a fan of challenging platformers, this one is worth a look.
Wawa Land is available now for only $.99. Get it on the App Store!