Ravenous Games’ League of Evil [99¢] is packed with so many things I like in iOS games I don’t even know where to start. It’s got some great pixel art, and chiptune music to match. Gameplay is segregated in to short levels that (if navigated successfully) can be completed inside of a few seconds. There’s even incentive to replay levels, both in a three star grading system as well as picking up a (usually difficult to get to) briefcase. The controls aren’t that bad either for an iOS platformer, which is saying something.
Backing things up a bit, the premise of League of Evil is simple. Evil scientists are all joining up to form the aptly named “League of Evil" to develop weapons of mass destruction. Naturally, you must eliminate these scientists, and the tool for the elimination just so happens to be your fist of fury. After a brief cut scene explaining all this, you’re sent off on your way to the first level, and the first evil scientist that you must slay to presumably protect the Earth.
Actually reaching said scientist is where the challenge of League of Evil comes in to play. Each scientist is located inside of an increasingly treacherous setting filled with platforms, spikes, guards, and other things that instantly kill you if you touch them. Using a right and left arrow to move and a set of virtual buttons to jump and punch, you’ve got to navigate whatever challenges lie in between you and the next scientist.
The moves you’re capable of doing will be instantly familiar to you if you’ve ever played Super Meat Boy. You can obviously run and jump, as well as double jump, slide down walls, and jump off walls. Something you can’t do in Super Meat Boy is punch, which you’ll need to do to take out pesky security guards before they shoot you (as well as scientists). The controls work well enough, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say there were moments where I wish I was playing with a real controller.
In fact, if that becomes enough of an issue for you, you can play League of Evil with real controls using your keyboard and the free Flash version of the game. The levels seem to be a little more difficult, at least early on, and there aren’t quite as many of them as in the iOS version… But the option is there, and I can appreciate that.
If you’ve enjoyed Super Meat Boy on any of the platforms it’s available on, and have been looking for something similar for iOS, League of Evil is totally worth your dollar. If you have no idea what Super Meat Boy is, but enjoy quick and sometimes difficult platformer games, give League of Evil a try, at least the Lite version or the browser-based Flash game if nothing else.