TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Backflip Madness 2’

TouchArcade Rating:

A little over a decade ago, we came across a weird new mobile game called Backflip Madness. It had been a few years since Bennet Foddy’s QWOP took the internet by storm and pretty much single-handedly created the wacky ragdoll physics genre, and Backflip Madness was cut from a similar cloth. It had you timing your taps in order to jump, tuck, and then land a backflip (or flips) off of a variety of obstacles across a variety of interesting locations. The ragdoll physics and paper doll-style character made for humorous and pleasing slams, but the jumping mechanics, despite being based around single taps, were surprisingly deep. We were borderline obsessed with the game back in the day, and Backflip Madness went on to become a little viral sensation in its own right, hanging around the top charts for several years to come.

Well, despite it being posted about publicly by developer Gamesoul, I had absolutely no idea that a sequel was in the works until it hit the App Store this week. Surprised and delighted are just a couple of the words I’d use to describe how it felt seeing Backflip Madness 2 in the App Store. And holy moly, this isn’t just some simple follow-up, this is a full-blown sequel that adds to the core mechanics of the game in a major way. First and foremost is the fact that you now have direct control of your backflipper, with the ability to walk or run left or right through a level and even jump or climb up parts of the environment. Effectively this makes Backflip Madness 2 more of a full parkour simulator compared to the original, which automatically led you through a series of pre-determined stationary backflip challenges.

This new freedom of movement leads to the next big change which is the ability to string jumps together into a combo. When tapping to stick the landing of a flip, whether stationary or while moving, you can hold a direction on the analog stick to immediately launch yourself back into the air upon landing, only much higher this time, for a second backflip. Do it again on that second flip for a third, and so on. Nail all the flips in a combo and you’ll get a score multiplier for your troubles. This opens up all sorts of possibilities across the game’s levels in terms of the types of cool tricks you can land as well as the scores you can earn. It might sound like a weird comparison but this game is giving me major Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater vibes as I get more comfortable with the mechanics and then continue to try and push the limits of what sort of tricks and combos I can pull of without landing on my face in painful fashion.

Backflip Madness 2 is in many ways a very different game from the original, which was one of my favorite one-handed portrait games. The new free movement and virtual joystick make this a landscape-only affair, but the more time I spend with this one the more I think that sacrifice is well worth it for how greatly expanded the gameplay is in this sequel. The learning curve is pretty steep, and it’s especially tricky getting the hang of pulling off combos, but once you do it is exceedingly satisfying stringing together a big beefy combo worth tons of points. Again, it feels very much like a THPS game. There’s a lot of stuff I haven’t touched on yet too, like local and online multiplayer where the addition of a second backflipper can open up even more possibilities for craziness. If you had a good time with the original, or you’re just a fan of challenging but satisfying wacky physics-based games, you should certainly have Backflip Madness 2 in your sights.

  • Backflip Madness 2

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