Everything from the tutorial level to the overly clichéd evil villain – that unsurprisingly wants to destroy the world with a vile mix of clichés – is poked fun at during each storyboard, and we found ourselves rolling in laughter during each of them, heck we even bruised our ribs laughing during the end credits. The writing here is superb and the highlight of the entire story mode, as everything from the classic movie Back to the Future (an entire gameplay mode gets this fantastic cliché!), to the current status of the gaming industry are lampooned in order to gain a good laugh.
It’s a simple concept that works and it’s highly entertaining, and where most iOS games of this type feature one level that you replay over and over ad nauseam, here we get five themed worlds (remember those clichés we spoke of earlier?), each packed with its own unique enemies and obstacles, as well as multiple gameplay variations: Run X amount of meters without killing an enemy, Kill X amount of enemies, Fly X amount of meters with a jetpack, etc. Once the hour of two of the Story Mode is completed – skill level depending – Free Run and Challenge Mode will keep gamers playing for hours longer.
Think we’re done yet? Oh, it keeps on getting better. The gameplay is spot-on, we already know that, but the visuals are perfectly fitting too, with each themed world beautifully crafted in a colourful 16-bit style reminiscent of the SNES/Genesis days of old. The game looks just as good, if not better, than the best games of that era and the soundtrack is even better. Each world has its own soundtrack loop and all of them are absolutely fantastic. From the pulsing rock of the zombie outbreak to the rock/orchestral mix of strings, guitar and Celtic vocals of the fantasy kingdom, each one is worthy of blaring through the speakers full blast. Throw in a multitude of weapon pickups and a Hall of Fame feature full of challenges to gain 100 per cent completion status and claim ‘Epic Gamer’ bragging rights, which will take skills of epic proportions, as some of the gold level challenges are extremely difficult, and you’ll see there is a lot of gameplay here.
While there are a few hiccups along the way, thankfully none of them of epic proportions. On most of the levels, once the 1000m mark is passed, a checkpoint is activated and helps to keep extreme frustration at bay, but the levels are randomly generated, and at times seemingly impossible sections tend to generate once you’ve spawned at a checkpoint. Once you’ve survived the hilarious Story Mode, the other modes tend to get a bit repetitive during extended playtimes, and from then on the game is best enjoyed in brief sessions. Also, where online leaderboards were featured in Blimp: The Flying Adventures, they sadly missed the jump into the game here, which is a shame as it would have given the games long-term replay value a boost. But, even with its shortcomings, the killer soundtrack and action packed gameplay will make sure this Mini stays on your PSP