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iPhone  header logo

Volcano Escape

For: iPhone

Cool your jets

Product: Volcano Escape | Publisher: In-house | Developer: Bravo Game Studios | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Platform | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: US | App version: 1.0
Volcano Escape iPhone, thumbnail 1
You don't have to go back far to remember the last major volcanic eruption on planet Earth. Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull halted trans-Atlantic air travel and dominated the headlines as a freak of nature, despite the fact that eruptions occur all the time.

It's a point to consider amid the bombast surrounding Volcano Escape. This undeniably great-looking game might seem like something fresh, but it's ultimately just another jumping game.

Slick graphics is the game's only claim to fame, whereas floaty controls and a lack of options make it less desirable than the leagues of jumping games that have come before it.

Heated holiday

As one of six visitors to a remote tropical island, you're sacrificed in an erupting volcano by a tribe of natives. Using a virtual analogue stick and 'jump' button, you have to flee from the rising lava by hopping rocky platforms. Of course, there's no escape - the game continues until you finally succumb to the fiery sludge.

Enemies stationed within the volcano make your escape more difficult, though a handgun and power-ups help you along the way. A second analogue stick in the lower-right fires your gun. Power-ups can be picked up by breaking boxes that randomly appear inside the volcano shaft.

These range from a handy jet pack that sends you flying upwards to a bayonet capable of slicing up enemies and even a bomb that obliterates anything in its blast radius.

Float to the top

It sounds like decent fun, especially when you consider the lush graphics, but the game stumbles with floaty controls. For an endless jumping game, having tight controls is kind of an important thing and Volcano Escape just doesn't have them.

You hang in the air far too long for jumps to feel tight and precise, despite the reasonably responsive movement. Perform a double-jump and the game's floaty nature becomes even more pronounced.

The placement of the 'jump' button above the firing analogue stick is also a problem, yet the game lacks any option to configure the controls. It's awkward moving your right thumb between the 'jump' button and analogue stick in a clumsy effort to keep moving up the volcano and shoot enemies impeding your progress.

Cool combat

Even worse, the game's unique selling point - the ability to turn enemies into corpses that you can jump onto to reach higher platforms - complicates your ascent. Rather than helping you on your way up the volcano, enemy corpses more often get in the way of your jumps.

In general, the game struggles to merge combat with platforming in a convincing manner. It never gels and the result is a disjointed combination: in essence, combat tacked onto a jumping game.

It's unfortunate that Volcano Escape doesn't possess solid controls because it's a likable production. There's a cheerfulness about it that makes you want to dive in, but it's worth remembering you don't have to go far to find a good endless jumping game.
Volcano Escape
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 17 February 2011
Great graphics aren't enough to save endless jumping game Volcano Escape from floaty controls
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