Mobile review: Outland Games

Uber Entertainment's Super Monday Night Combat has retained a devoted following amongst PC circles. Beyond its varied gameplay style, it's also built a recognizable world blending together elements of a dystopian future with Team Fortress 2-style humor. Now Uber seeks to expand that universe through an iOS autorunner called Outland Games.


Outland Games plays like most autorunners, but with a few additional mechanics tossed in. Players will jump by tapping the left side of the screen, while they can attack with a melee weapon by tapping the right side. The idea is to collect the highest score by running as far as possible, while also collecting as many coins as possible and taking out enemy bots along the way. It's a simple pick-up-and-play concept that should appeal to casual players, as well as fans of the Monday Night Combat series.

While it may appear on the surface that Outland Games is limited to jumping and attacking, players can mix up these mechanics to pull off different maneuvers. For example, using your attack in mid-air will result in an air dash that can take out floating obstacles, which can, in turn, be followed by another mid-air leap. Experimenting with moves is definitely encouraged, especially once the pace starts to quicken at about 1,000 feet or so.

Coins earned through each game can be used to purchase bonuses from Outland Games' in-game shop. These bonuses range from longer-lasting power-ups to cosmetic attire. There are a few items that can be purchased with real money, such as the money magnet, but they're not pivotal to the overall experience. There are dozens of items to pick up from the shop, so there's plenty of incentive to keep playing through the game and keep striving for those long distances.

The downside of Outland Games is the lack of level variety. While enemy and obstacle placement is randomized, the player is essentially running across the exact same plain every time to the point that it becomes easy to memorize the layout. Don't expect the backgrounds to vary much, either. You run across a desert, followed by a temple, followed by even more desert. It's easy to get tired of looking at the same thing, so it's disappointing that there's really only one environment to explore.

If you enjoyed Super Monday Night Combat's humor, you'll have good reason to pick up Outland Games. Veterans will be happy to hear the Monday Night Combat announcer, see Bullseye the mascot, and hear some chuckle-inducing one-liners, even if they do become repetitive rather quickly. Casual players will simply enjoy the easy learning curve and the game sessions that last less than five minutes.

Outland Games is available now on iTunes for 99 cents on both iPad and iPhone.

This Outland Games review is based on a copy of the game provided by the developer, tested on a third-generation iPad and third-generation iPod Touch. The game is now available on the App Store (Universal) for 99 cents.