Badland is one of those games, unfortunately.
It is an iOS game, which I downloaded on my iPad when Apple was so graciously giving away those awesome games. Again, it was another game that I went into not knowing anything about it, which always makes for a fun first experience. Sometimes the results are less than ideal, and I feel like I may have wasted my time in playing it, but other times I come across a diamond in the rough, which when discovered by surprise, is quite exciting and thrilling in all the right ways.
Immediately after starting up the game, I feel in love. The art style is one of the best and most appealing I have seen on a mobile game in a long, long time. The foreground of the game, including the character(s) you control are all silhouetted, while the background is a gloriously designed, perfectly created visual masterpiece. It looks and feels like a cross between Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and Rayman Origins, which both happen to be a couple of my favorite artistic games over the last few years.
The game itself is simple enough, You touch the screen to move your floating little ball of fur character up, and let go to allow him to fall. You do this with precise timing in order to navigate the treacherous and dangerous (yet beautiful) landscape, all the while avoiding the impending doom that is the screen scroll. If you happen to get stuck under a tree branch or behind a wall of spikes, the scrolling screen will crush you to death. Pretty simple and straight forward, if you ask me.
There are power-ups along the way, speeding you up, shrinking you, enlarging you and even multiplying your character, all of which assist you in completing the level, as you would imagine. But here is the catch; I have no clue what is going on, why I am navigating this landscape or what exactly these power-ups even are. I don't know who I am, I don't know my purpose or my mission (other than survival) and I don't know my end game goal. I am literally just playing as I am told, like a good little sheep, not asking questions or challenging my existence in this universe.
That's a horrible feeling. Maybe I missed something? Did I accidentally skip over a cut scene or something important to a storyline that I'm still not convinced even exists?
Or do I just not get it? If that's the case, maybe ignorance is bliss.