Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4S
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AWESOME Land is a platformer for those nostalgic for the simpler times of cartridges and controllers, 16-bits and pixel perfect environments. Yet, while this game is an intensely satisfying homage those classic platformers, it struggles to do much more than reference the greatness of those past titles. As an entertaining throwback to the 16-bit era, though, this game delivers a solid platforming experience on the iOS platform, a commendable feat in its own right. In fact, the most amazing thing that AWESOME Land offers players is a very convincing reconstruction of the easy run and jump controls enjoyed on so many early video game consoles.
It's impossible not to immediately get the subtle feeling of being sucked into a time warp when playing AWESOME Land. The blocky graphics perfectly evoke the design aesthetics of the early 90's, and the on-screen button controls match them as well as anyone can expect on the iOS platform. The familiar, yet somehow very fresh environments and characters as well as some tweaks to familiar game mechanics all work together to bring players a game that feels more like a lost platformer from 20 years ago than a new iOS game.
The game's levels aren't the most ambitious to be seen in a platforming title, and it that way AWESOME Land seems to have missed one of the biggest lessons of the games to which it pays homage. So many 2D platformers have been so successful at creating the sense of epic environments, and the levels in AWESOME Land just don't hold up well in comparison. That said, the platforming works super well, even if the levels sometime lack very inventive or inspired design.
This unique game includes 20 levels through which players can relive some of their platforming nostalgia, and enjoy some really great retro gameplay. Once they are able to complete all the levels though (they get fairly difficult), there may not be much that would tempt them to pick AWESOME Land up for more.