Oct 10, 2012
There is zany… and then there is Backflip Madness.
On the surface, I honestly wondered how enjoyable a game that had me scoring points by, well, doing backflips could be. But, with a little patience (and encouragement from a son who was literally head over heals for this game), it slowly earned some of my respect.
The title says it all. I scored points by doing backflips. The great part of the game is how well the developers were able to recreate physiological movement of a body in motion. Using a few basic controls, I could launch the athlete backwards, effect a “tuck” and land on my feet. Of course, this was all much easier said than done in practice. The challenge of the game was mastering the sequence, and doing the right thing at the right time based on circumstance.
And by circumstance, I refer to the surprisingly detailed imagery. I started off in a gym, and found out that I could launch from the bare ground, or from a raised spot (like a basketball rim). Jumping backwards, I could contort to land on my feet for points. It looked great anatomically, and the developer put some time into making it look correct.
Including the falls. Ouch.
Now, for fans of Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O, the falls alone will be worth the download. I found the painful reaction from mis-jumping into the basketball rim from the top of the backboard bordered on the grotesque, and I admit to laughing at first. But, eventually, I did find the game to be a tad monotonous after a while. The unlockable locations cityscapes, canyons, etc.) attempted to give a measure of newness, so it wasn’t all lost.
All in all, this was a game that was tougher to master than I expected, and the challenge will probably be its biggest draw.