Written by contributing author John Rios
Very few iOS platformers have used virtual controls well, but League of Evil aims to get it right. Ravenous Games has crafted their own take on the simple A-to-B formula with a load of Super Meat Boy influence. League of Evil sacrifices nothing to make itself more touch-screen friendly, yet somehow manages to work amazingly well.
A close cropped camera follows as you navigate and decapitate your way around levels at a blistering pace. Your abilities include a wall-jump, double-jump, and an air dash attack to take out enemies or add a little distance to your jumps through the bevy of crushing levels. The levels are not designed for length, maxing out at about 15 seconds, or no more than 5 seconds if you're impossibly good. This provides a nice mini-game feel, perfect for short periods of killing time or bouts of ADD. Though don't make the mistake of thinking you won't spend an hour blazing through stage after stage, because if you're not careful, you will. A recent update of 48 added levels builds on the soul-crushing fun, ensuring plenty of areas for you to zip around. The addiction of collecting hidden suitcases found in each stage, as well as the ranking system add incentive to play League of Evil over and over.
You will always feel like you have total control over the game's protagonist -- a cyborg that has a striking resemblance to The Terminator -- as you jump over spike pits and spinning hammers. Not once did I find myself hitting the dash button when I wanted to hit jump, or vice-versa. I did notice that my fingers were slipping a bit due to the diminutive size of the iPhone when coupled with a platformer as intense as this. Your mileage may vary though, especially if you have tiny fingers, or an iPad.
The beauty of the 8-bit generation lives on in the slick, colorful, lo-fi visuals. While many a developer attempt to capture the true throwback nature of the NES days, leagues of failures are created along the way. League of Evil undoubtedly hits the mark, seemingly transported onto the iOS platform right from the late 1980s. The music feels like it was transplanted from a Contra or Ikari Warriors title, which is a fantastic compliment.
League of Evil is truly a unique experience on your iOS device (until Team Meat creates an iOS port of Super Meat Boy). Fans of fast, punishing action should not miss out on this one.
Buy it if: You haven't yet, it’s only 99 cents!
Don't Buy it if: Platformers easily frustrate you
The Score: 8 outta 10 Blasters!