iPhone review of the day: League of Evil – its like Super Meat Boy with a punch button

On iPhone
League of Evil
Price: $1.99
Size: 14.2 MB
Get it now on iTunes:US (opens in new tab)/UK (opens in new tab)

“Evil scientists are joining forces. We call them the League of Evil. We believe they are developing weapons of mass destruction! You must eliminate these scientists by any means necessary!” And with that simple exposition, you – a white t-shirt wearin’, blue jean sportin’, cyborg-armed Agent – set about platforming and decapi-punching your way through more than a hundred micro levels.

League of Evil is as simple as it is frustratingly hardcore. Imagine a portable Super Meat Boy, but with a punch button. You double- and wall-jump over spikes, lasers, turrets, soldiers and more boobie traps that would put ACME to shame, in order to reach the end-of-level scientist. Reaching these evil-doers is as cathartic as grabbing the flag at the end of each level in Super Mario Bros. Except this time, you punch their heads off and admire the resulting pixilated explosion. Glorious.

Like many iPhone games, touchscreen controls are a little wonky at first, but surprisingly tight. You’ll fumble a bit at the start, especially considering how precise jumps need to be. But eventually your fears and second guesses will melt away and you’ll have only yourself to blame for every death.

However, for a game so dedicated to nuanced platforming, it’s surprising League includes a punch button. Granted you’ll barely use the thing and the inclusion is certainly a nice way to differentiate from similar titles, but slightly shifting your right thumb from jump to punch can nonetheless be the sudden jolt that causes your death.

Each level awards you a star-rating based on time completed and there’s a secret briefcase to collect. Additional episodes contain levels that are themed-based: a set of super difficult stages and an episode that is “block”-themed. Yes, block-themed. Don’t worry, the game does an excellent job setting up the complicated plot.

Apr 18, 2011

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