The Game: Super Mole Escape
The Device: iPhone 4
The Price: $0.99
The Basics: Under our feet a perversion of justice dwells. Mole criminals, presumably mole murderers and mole rapists and the like, are being imprisoned in cells with dirt floors. The second the bars slam closed and the jailer’s footsteps recede down the hallway the guilty moles pull a Steve McQueen and dig out as fast as they can, grabbing money and weapons as they navigate increasingly tricky environments.
The warden of the jail, perhaps goaded into action personally by the terrorized populace, chases down the convicts and drags them back to the judge. The escapees will try anything to delay their inevitable recapture- throw bombs in his face, smash him with hammers, or simply jump on a drill for a quick boost down. Despite their violent escape attempt the judge is just as likely to let them simply go free as he is to lock them back up… in the same exact dirt-floored cell. The wise old judge might even give the guilty moles some money for their troubles, or an item that will aid his next escape attempt.
Clearly the entire mole judicial system needs an overhaul, and quickly.
The Review: Okay, it’s yet another in a long line of endless-runner games that see you controlling a character that runs automatically, oblivious that he has no chance of actually getting away. It’s all about as running as far as you can go before failing, and it’s been done before countless times. But Adult Swim’s latest title (after the addictive Monsters Ate My Condo) brings one new thing to the genre- multiplayer. Using Game Center, it’s easy to jump into matches with people online, and adds much more longevity to the game. Once in a while you’ll have to wait a little bit for an opponent but it works very well.
Of course even if you just play solo you’ll find lots of reasons to keep digging through the earth. Jetpack Joyride-style missions give you three new goals for each run, forcing you to change up your tactics accordingly. You might have use a weapon to kill an enemy, reach a certain depth, or simply collect a certain number of coins.
The coins come at you in lines which not only make it easier to collect but also give you a boost if you get every one- an important tactic for staying ahead of the warden. The tilt controls work just fine as you try to keep your mole to the looser, lighter-colored soil. You can burrow through the harder stuff, and even through rocks, but the warden will start breathing down your neck if you slow down enough.
Fortunately with all that money you pick up (or are simply handed by the judge) you can upgrade your mole’s stats and special weapon or even unlock new moles, each with his or her own unique strengths. Items can be purchased as well to aid you on your next dig.
A fun little game, but nothing that will knock Jetpack Joyride off the top of the heap.
The Final Grade: B