Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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It's nice to come across a game with as positive a message as Awesome Upstander. While its control system may misfire at times, it's still an entertaining platformer with an important message that kids in particular should take note of.
Awesome Upstander follows the tale of a child (or upstander as the game explains) who has had enough of the school bully and sets out to stop them. This is done through the power of friends. The main character runs around the level rescuing targets from the bully while also collecting some 'must have' items, all in order to stand up to the bully together. It's a cute message and one that, coincidentally, I've been encouraging a young relative to pursue. Further positivity comes in the form of a choice of gender.
While Awesome Upstander isn't the longest of games, it remains entertaining. Players race around with their left thumb controlling direction and their right thumb controlling jumping. Things can get a little fiddly as the jump button isn't as consistently responsive as one would like but practice does improve matters. Players gain additional stars for completing levels with all the children rescued plus extra items such as bananas or rolls of toilet paper. This adds to the replayability element as I frequently found myself not quite mastering levels the first time round.
Awesome Upstander treads a fine line between being solely a game for kids and being one that will entertain adults. While the message is squarely aimed at the younger market, I did find myself enjoying playing it. There's a warm sense of humor scattered throughout the levels, and some later stages are really pretty challenging to master. Its cuteness and charm will keep you smiling as you play.