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Super Mole Escape

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Dig for victory

Product: Super Mole Escape | Developer: Grumpyface Studios | Publisher: Adult Swim | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Arcade, Multiplayer | Players: 1 | File size: 124MB | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
Super Mole Escape iPhone, thumbnail 1
Super Mole Escape is a bit special - let's get that out of the way before we proceed with the review.

We critically appraise countless games on mobile devices here at Pocket Gamer. We like to think we've seen it all, but this latest release from Adult Swim Games has had such a significant impact that we've been left feeling slightly dazzled.

At its core, Super Mole Escape sticks to the endless-runner genre template very effectively. Like Canabalt and Adult Swim stablemate Robot Unicorn Attack, the objective is to keep running (or, in this case, digging) for as long as possible.

Around this core premise, developer Grumpyface Studios has built up a game of considerable scope and depth (pun absolutely intended).

Mole in a hole

Your mole digs downwards automatically, and you influence its movement by tilting your device left and right.

By collecting an entire string of gems you can give yourself a temporary speed boost. Chain together a succession of these strings and you'll push your mole into a speed frenzy, whereby its forward momentum is enough to smash through pieces of the environment that would usually slow him down.

Hostile forces bar your progress, and these need to either be dealt with via a high-speed collision or avoided completely. Contact with enemies or hazardous sections of the course will bring you to a practical standstill, allowing the relentlessly pursuing prison guard to chase you down and end your game.

It's impossible to describe just how hectic Super Mole Escape can get. Once you've mastered the art of boosting your speed through gem-collection, the game becomes devilishly quick, forcing spilt-second reactions and almost uncontrollable levels of excitement.

Add in special one-use items to the mix and the pace becomes even more exhilarating.

You can upgrade the capabilities of your mole using the gems you've collected, boosting its speed, acceleration, and overall strength. You can unlock other moles using gems, and each one has a slightly different set of skills to exploit.

Can you dig it?

The process of slowly unlocking each mole and making sure its powers are augmented to the maximum is bound to keep you glued to your iOS device for quite some time, but the icing on the cake is the two-player Challenge mode.

This allows you to go head-to-head against another person online, competing to see who can cover the largest distance.

It's hard to find fault with such a sublime title, but if you were feeling particularly grumpy then you could say that sometimes Super Mole Escape's chaotic nature limits its enjoyability - especially when you're aiming for a top score and find your progress stymied by a seemingly unavoidable chain of unfortunate events.

Still, even these moments - which are mercifully rare - can't totally dent your enjoyment or your enthusiasm for the task at hand. Super Mole Escape looks amazing, plays like a dream, and is sure to remain installed on your iOS device long after its rivals have been consigned into the ether.
Super Mole Escape
Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran | 13 August 2012
Blessed with instantly appealing gameplay, engaging presentation, and plenty of long-term challenge, Super Mole Escape is a must-have download
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