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Developer: Adult Swim Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Adult Swim Games’ original titles are getting to pretty much be insta-buys at this point. The level of polish and ridiculous fun in their titles is off the charts. Their latest title to fit the bill is Super Mole Escape, an endless digger that has players controling a felonious mole who tries to escape from the mole cops by doing what moles do: digging. Clearly, prisons with dirt floors were a bad idea. Players move left and right while digging downward, trying to collect series of gems that will give a speed boost along with the ability to burst through small rocks and enemies. Powerups to launch rockets, drop bombs, and activate a super drill are also collectable throughout the levels.

Super Mole Escape does a lot right. With only the need to move and launch items, the game is simple to get in to. It’s set up perfectly for just “one more session”, just one more attempt at a high score, to collect more gems for upgrades or powerups. There’s the now-traditional Jetpack Joyride structure of mission objectives to complete, permanent upgrades to buy, and consumable powerups that can be used. As well, additional characters can be bought, with better base stats and different designs. Who wants to dig through the earth with a mole wearing a top hat and monocle? Who doesn’t? The characters have a real Hanna-Barbera inspiration to them, and the animations are absolutely fantastic. The game is perfect for online multiplayer, which follows the old axiom of “You don’t have to outrun the mole cop, you just have to outrun the other guy.” Screwing over an opponent by picking up a series of gems to prevent them from getting away from the mole cop? Always a great feeling.

The tilt controls are great, and actually are far better than the touch controls. I spent quite a bit of time playing the game on an airplane with touch controls, and I felt the tilt controls were far more accurate and easier to use. Also, the game seems to be cut from a very similar cloth as Duckers is, and both feature a similar tilting and falling section. I don’t think it’s a clone (and I doubt this game was made in the past couple months since Duckers was released), as the games feel different, but with a similar core idea.

There’s a lot to love with Super Mole Escape. It’s extremely addictive, it has a great Game Center multiplayer mode, and it has moles. Yes, it’s also supported by in-app purchases for more gems, but the game hands them out frequently enough for upgrades. This is a fantastic game.

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