BadLands
for Amiga (OCS/ECS)

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Mr Creosote:
Company: Teque / Tengen
Year: 1990
Genre: Sport, Action
Theme: Apocalypse / Driving / Individual Sports / Multiplayer
Language: English
Licence: Commercial
Views: 328
Review by Mr Creosote (2022-04-16)
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What is it with post-apocalyptic scenarios and car racing? Why do authors of all kinds of dystopic fiction consider this “sport”, of all things, will remain such a cultural mainstay? Maybe the makers of BadLands could tell us. Though the much more likely explanation is that they simply built their game on an already established formula without giving it much thought.

In gameplay terms, this is a fact for sure. BadLands is simply Super Sprint with a new (post-apocalyptic) wallpaper. Those wallpapers, or rather backdrop graphics, are admittedly rather nice. Earthy, dirty colour tones are interchanged with a cold, metallic future between levels. The cars have a bit of a family van feel to them, on the other hand, looking slightly out of place.

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Eight tracks are available, which may not sound like much, and indeed it isn't, but this is an arcade port after all. Little touches like erupting volcanoes or gun turrets spice things up mildly and occasionally. In the sole attempt to innovate from its predecessors, cars can be equipped with weapons as well. Though honestly, on these tiny courses, it makes little difference. Apart from that, the usual power-ups appear randomly on the ground, waiting to be picked up. Risky short-cuts can be taken or not. For some cute graphical effects, some of the scenery can sometimes be damaged or destroyed by the cars.

Considering said Super Sprint was not officially ported to the Amiga, Badlands may have a right to exist within the constraints of this system. Though then, why are only two human players allowed at the time? Even the venerable older classic already allowed for three on the Atari ST. The core gameplay formula for sure is an immortal one, and they never risked to damage or destroy it here. Though if you're asking yourself why to prefer this game over any other of the clones, or the original for that matter, it really has little or nothing going for it. Ultimately, as an official sequel, disappointing.

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