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iPad  header logo

LAD

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Must... stay... awake

Product: LAD | Developer: Black Chair Games | Format: iPad | Genre: Platform, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
LAD iPad, thumbnail 1
LAD is a nightmare.

It's a nightmare in the sense that the developer clearly meant it to be, with a monochrome world filled with black trees and spooky crows, backed by a mournful soundtrack.

If you've ever played Limbo on Xbox you'll know what to expect.

Unfortunately LAD borrows none of that game's mechanical brilliance. In fact it's a - you guessed it - nightmare to play.

Nightmare scenario

Ever been caught in one of those horrible claustrophobic dreams where you're trying to run away from a horrible threat but you can't seem to move your limbs fast enough?

LAD plays like that. You move around each bleak 2D platformer stage by touching the left or right side of the screen to move in that direction, while jumps are executed by pressing both together.

The execution of this mechanic is painful. Barely functional, even. Our protagonist has the kind of pathetic, plodding little shuffle that makes you think he's had too much to drink and is trying really, really hard to walk straight.

He picks up momentum at the rate of a ferry, but the true killer here is the jumping. LAD has some of the worst jumping mechanics we've ever seen in a game.

Feeling jumpy

Our protagonist's jump is comically weedy, and it seems to carry absolutely none of your running momentum into it. There's a double-jump, but this lurches around horribly - hold the second direction too long and your jumping arc will be cut short.

Pushing boxes around has also been botched. Not only is it ridiculously hard to scramble up them due to those awful jumping controls, but they also often glitch along like they've got a mind of their own.

As a result of this even the most simple task in LAD can be immensely tough to execute - especially with instant death a simple mistimed jump away, and finding yourself in an irretrievable position is all too common.

If the developer of LAD meant to replicate the feeling of being in a nightmare, it has succeeded a little bit too well.
 
LAD
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 14 September 2012
As depressing to play as it is to look at, LAD is a nightmarishly frustrating platform-puzzler
 
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