Developer: Ravenous Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPod touch 4G

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Games inspired by the age of gaming when all anyone ever needed was a d-pad and 2 buttons are finding a new home, ironically on a platform that features no physical controls at all. Welcome League of Evil to this stable of faux-retro games, featuring a very simple premise like those 80’s classics that it takes from. There are evil scientists that are in cahoots to develop weapons of mass destruction, and have formed a coalition, appropriately titled the League of Evil. Your goal, as a super soldier, is to take these evil scientists out in the only way you know how, by punching them in the face. There are 54 levels, each containing one scientist to explode, being guarded by a variety of traps and soldiers. Each level also contains a briefcase that you can collect, your ultimate goal being to complete each level with the briefcase and a 3-star time.

League of Evil’s mechanics are designed for fun – you can pull off a variety of acrobatic moves like double jumps, mid-air kicks, and wall jumps to help get you through the levels, and mastering these techniques is the key to succeeding in this game, and is quite fun to boot! League of Evil is perfect for fans of retro-inspired games, with a chiptune soundtrack and 8-bit inspired graphics. The game is also designed perfectly for short play sessions, as every level is designed to be beaten in less than a minute. This also keeps the frustration level of the game down, as when you only have to beat short levels, repetition is more forgivable. Also, the game comes with support for OpenFeint and Game Center for achievements.

League of Evil is unfortunately very short, though. Even with all the repetition of challenging levels, it still only took me 2 hours tops to beat all the levels, though completing them all with 3 stars and all the briefcases may take some extra time. While it’s a minor issue, the game doesn’t support the Retina Display yet. The movement controls are slightly problematic, as I often found myself accidentally moving in the wrong direction, and this could be an issue in the trickier platforming sections.

League of Evil is a supernova – shining brightly for a brief moment before it fades away. With some more content, this could be a fantastic retro-inspired action platformer, but for now, it’s fun but brief. If you love retro-inspired games, this is worth a pickup despite its short playtime. Others may want to hold off until the League of Evil beefs up its membership, but make sure you check out the Lite version, which features 7 exclusive levels not in the full version.

Update: Since the original review, the game has gotten an update adding 48 new levels, 18 “Impossible Missions” and 30 levels featuring themes and enemies from The Blocks Cometh, which itself features characters from League of Evil.

Update #2: Since the first update came out, the game has added another 30 levels in the “Welcome to the Jungle!” chapter, and now has leaderboard support – when you complete all the levels in a chapter, it submits your total time to the leaderboard, which you can then improve on. With the content literally more than doubling since the initial release, and a $0.99 price, pretty much any concerns I had about the length of the game have been alleviated. Definitely check this one out.

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