BADLAND: Because all caps means all fun

Writing something in all caps is generally considered bad form, but when two of the guys behind Trials Evolution do it because they’re excited about their new project, we can probably find it in our hearts to forgive them. Yes, I’ve officially decided on behalf of everyone that it’s fine for Frogmind Games to call its upcoming iOS side-scroller BADLAND, especially since it hints at combining moody visuals and innovative gameplay into one sweet package.

As an apparently furry inhabitant of a lush forest, your journey promises to take you through a number of environmental traps and obstacles. Also, since many of those impediments are of the mechanical variety, you may also be unraveling the mystery of what is happening to the forest. The adventure takes place in four sections, Dawn, Noon, Dusk and Night, with your surroundings growing more and more ominous as the sun sets.

At least that’s true in the backgrounds, which is where most of the graphical details reside. The action takes place in the foreground, where your critter and the barriers to his progress take on a shadowy, silhouette-like quality. It makes for a very cool contrast, and with Frogmind stating that the game was developed with retina displays in mind, it should look great on newer iPhone and iPad screens.



The developers are also going with a less is more approach to gameplay, focusing on inventive power ups and physics-based solutions to the traps instead of complicated controls. In fact, touching and holding the screen to make your character fly appears to be the lone control, sending him up down and forward with just enough precision to make things interesting. Gameplay videos show off a number of intriguing ways to change the way the creature interacts with the environment, making him grow, shrink, and slow down. One power up even clones him multiple times, with the duplicates able to be sacrificed to ensure safe passage through some nasty sharp-toothed gears.

BADLAND is slated to have 10 levels in each of the four increasingly challenging sections, and Frogmind has ideas for further content beyond that. Look for it in the App Store toward the end of the first quarter of 2013, and remember, all caps is okay. But just this once.