Outland Games brings to iOS some of the charm that Uber Entertainment’s Super Monday Night Combat had going for it, but once you get past the initial chuckles, their first mobile foray does little to keep you hooked.
The idea of transplanting the gladiator ideals of ancient times into a futuristic atmosphere has been tossed around in video games for years, usually in the form of first-person shooters. Some titles re-imagine the feeling of competition well. The Unreal Tournament franchise is the first to jump to mind in this category, but many others like 2012’s Nexuiz have struggled to make the concept fun. And I’d put Outland Games in this second category as well.
In a swamped mobile games market, it can be difficult for games labelled as “just ok” to stand out. Hope This Works Games’ Polara raises the bar for mobile titles that require quick thinking and intense focus high enough to merit its recent price increase And it does so under the pretext of a mostly compelling narrative.
When the mechanics of an endless-runner and Ikaruga’s (or more recently Outland’s) colour-switching get thrown together in the same sentence, there are many who would ravenously start hunting around for the source of the rumouring, But while the allure of a game that combines the two elements is extremely tempting, the number of ways that the game design could go wrong is enough to make me avoid premature excitement.
When I first purchased my iPhone 4S in 2011, I did what any deprived mobile gamer would do after getting a shiny piece of hardware they’ve drooled over for years: I downloaded every free app and game that caught my eye.
Yet, out of the hundreds of free-to-play stinkers, and even the pay-to-play gems that I sunk hours into before completing their self contained experiences and removing them from my phone to free up space, Jetpack Joyride is the only 20 mb bundle of digital joy that has stood the test of time and remained on my iOS device.