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iPhone  header logo

WackyLands Boss

For: iPhone

Brawn over brains

Product: WackyLands Boss | Developer: Fair Play Labs | Publisher: Chillingo | Format: iPhone | Genre: Action, Adventure | Players: 1 | Networking: wireless (network) | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
WackyLands Boss iPhone, thumbnail 1
The life of a video game end of level boss must be a lonely and paranoid existence.

All there is to do is sit around all day waiting for some jacked up, over-powered little goody two-shoes to come along and slay you.

What they need is a trade union to fight for better working conditions. Until then, they have to make do with outspoken champions like WackyLands Boss.

New boss in town

Developer Fair Play Labs oversees a complete role-reversal of the usual video game set-up.

Here you create, customise and take control of a lumbering monster, bashing and munching your way through the peaceful Trogon Kingdom.

Said kingdom sends out dozens of heroic archetypes – knights, ninjas, Robin Hood-like archers, Link-like swordsmen – to bring you down in button-mashing combat.

Of course, the fact that you’re the size of a large house means you have a clear advantage. Tapping the screen sets off a barrage of light attacks, while a lateral swipe initiates a slower, heavier one.

In addition to regular attacks, a growing number of recharging special attack buttons appear at the top of the screen as your monster levels up. These range from enemy-stunning stomp attacks to screen-obliterating cataclysms.

Predictable attack pattern

As hinted at above, there’s a levelling system at play which, alongside the ability to customise the looks and equipment of your monster by buying new items with the in-game currency, grants the game some depth.

It still doesn’t fully make up for what is an incredibly shallow gameplay experience, though. The button-mashing combat is wafer thin and the simple left-to-right level structure makes every stage feel the same, regardless of changing backgrounds, enemies and level furniture.

Indeed, while the controls are incredibly simplistic, they’re also rather clunky.

Specifically, the gesture-based controls (which handle hard attacks, evasive rolls and picking up objects) prove to be unresponsive and unreliable in the heat of battle, particularly when mixed in with all the frantic tapping.

WackyLands Boss is an excellent concept - especially the customisation - rendered with bold and charming graphics and providing plenty of button-mashing gameplay. Unfortunately, though, like a first level boss, it looks a lot more impressive than it actually is.
 
WackyLands Boss
Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy | 2 November 2010
WackyLands Boss is charming in both concept and appearance, but its brand of button-mashing action is simultaneously simplistic and unwieldy
 
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