Developer: BulkyPix
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
App Reviewed on: iPhone 4S

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

There is no question that Lethal Lance swims in a big pool of old-school platformers, but LL Team and their publisher BulkyPix knew exactly how to make their title stand out. The game successfully (and almost immediately) plunges players into a lighthearted world that only jokingly ever takes itself too seriously (i.e. 2 star ratings come with the title of “Mr. Serious”).

IMG_0544The objective (as one would expect from an intentionally old-school title) is for users to find their way to the other end of the level without losing all of their lives. Every level is packed with coins for players to collect in order to get a better rating. The rating system itself is pretty straightforward; in order to get all 3 stars, players must accomplish all of the 3 different objectives: they must finish the level without losing any lives, collect all of the coins, and reach the exit before the time expires. If the time does expire, they will simply lose one of the stars – as opposed to starting over.

The controls are easy to get the hang of and work very well. As for the visuals and sounds in the game, simply put, everything is just cute. All of the characters (including the monsters) have brightly colored and cute designs, cute facial expressions, and cute animations. Even the hero’s shotgun makes a cute, somewhat futuristic sound whenever the player taps to shoot. I’ve used the word “charming” in some of my previous reviews as well, but none of the past games have earned that description quite as much as Lethal Lance.

That being said, the game isn’t all “rainbows and butterflies”. It has a few problems as well. To begin with, every world comes with a set of just 8 levels and there are only 4 worlds in total. Also, it would have been great to have a boss battle at the end of each world, but that feature is absent entirely.

IMG_0546The first set of levels can be completed quite fast, but things get significantly more difficult once players get to the second one. Even so, due to the small number of levels it won’t take very long to play through them all. However, getting 3 stars on each level will be quite a bit more difficult in later worlds, so that adds a good amount of time to it. At some point I even tried to play the game just by racing from one end to the other without worrying about my rating, in order to see how much time it would take to finish it that way. But in the end, doing that just takes all of the fun out of playing it. Chances are that most people who are going to get Lethal Lance will repeat every level a few times in order to score (at least) 2 of the 3 stars.

Ultimately, BulkyPix have published yet another impressive game, which most platformer fans won’t think twice on before downloading.

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