BADLAND proves the Apple TV makes a decent game console

Frogman’s BADLAND (Apple’s 2013 iPad Game of the Year) has successfully come to the Apple TV. The $4.99, side-scrolling action-adventure app (which also works on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch) contains all the content released for the other iOS versions over the last two years, including the recently added Level World with all 20,000-plus levels. And if you make it through all those levels, you have more time on your hands than I do.

The graphics in BADLANDS are gorgeous with its forest full of strange inhabitants, trees, and flowers in 60 frames per second glory. But don’t be fooled by the fairytale appearing scenery. There’s something terribly wrong in this forest. You control one of the forest’s inhabitants — around creature with spikes and small wings — to find out what’s going on. As you move through the landscape, you must dodge a variety of falling, exploding, and spinning objects. You can also “eat” items that will make you grow larger or smaller (or multiply). These changes can be good or bad, depending on your situation at the moment. 

BADLAND works with the Siri Remote and supports a MFi controller. I don’t have one of the latter yet, but the Siri Remote works well, thanks to the game’s simplicity. Holding down the touchpad button makes you flap and ascend, and letting go makes you dip and fall. Unless you’re a veteran Wii player, it takes a bit to adapt to the remote/controller.

BADLAND also features addictive, local multiplayer for up to three players playing with the same device or with up to two additional Bluetooth controllers. The multiplayer version is a no-holds-barred, survival of the fittest challenge. For example, you can push your rivals to spinning circular saws in order to survive. 

When it comes to gaming on the Apple TV, Apple hasn’t made it possible to use multiple Siri Remotes. Instead you’ll have to use your iPhone or iPad for multiplayer gaming. Few titles support this, but, thankfully, BADLAND is one of them. 

Unfortunately, the BADLAND Level Editor isn’t in the Apple TV version. However, you can make levels on your iPhone/iPad/iPod touch, and play them on Apple TV (cloud-saving syncs your progress between all these devices).

Considering that’s the only gripe I have about BADLAND, it’s certainly worth the price tag of five bucks.