Android Game Review: Spotlight – Super Daddio Free

Super Daddio Free Glenn Bacon

Free w/ ads (get the ad-free version here for $0.99)

Platformers are tough sells on Android.  There are plenty of them, but they very seldom seem to do well, with good reason; it’s hard to create a game that doesn’t suffer from device and user limitations (not having the processing power/layout/size/multi-touch required, not having extra thumbs to hit multiple buttons at once) and have it not be pretty lame.  That’s what this game appears to be at a glance; lame.  It really looks like the cheesiest Mario ripoff ever conceived.  Thankfully, looks can often be deceiving.

Does it look like Mario?  Yes, a bit.  Does it play like Mario?  Yeah, sort of.  Get coins, run around, stomp things, yadda yadda.  Does it feel like Mario?  No, it doesn’t.  The Nintendo has been sucked right out of this, and it really feels like an Android game. If you’re looking for Super Mario Bros, you’re going to need to pirate and emulate a copy like everybody else.  This is a unique game, despite any mild similarities.

Guiding Daddio isn’t exactly easy; the controls take some getting used to.  Monsters have some strange and erratic movement behaviors.  There’s not a lot of animation going on.  There’s a very simplistic and raw feel to the game.  You have infinite lives.  Bugs still exist, and work on this game is still in progress; just this morning as I’m writing this I’m seeing that an update has been posted.

Despite its flaws and ugliness (lets face it, it isn’t a pretty game), I’m still playing it.  There’s something satisfying about it I can’t put my finger on.  Maybe it’s because it isn’t a Mario title.  The worlds, while short and sweet, are grand in scale – they tend to stretch up and down as well as side to side.  The goal isn’t always just somewhere ‘on the right’.  It has some interesting puzzle aspects to it.  You can have multiple power-ups happening at once, such as shooting fireballs AND wearing a jet-pack (you jump way higher).  Enemies start off looking similar to Mario baddies, but then later you’re encountering snakes and Medusas and all sorts of strangeness.  It has its own distinct feel that I can’t stress enough, and it grows on you in a surprising fashion.  You can actually watch as Glenn Bacon levels up as a developer throughout the game.

La la la la... doo be doo be-OMFG WTF IS THAT THING SAVE ME DADDIO JEEBUS

THE TL;DR:

  • Looking for real Super Mario Bros?  Sorry, not here.
  • One ugly stepchild of our Nintendo playing roots.  Atari-level graphics.
  • Manages to be quirky and unique despite its similarities to classic platformers.
  • Grows on you as it becomes more its own game the further you progress.
  • Actively being developed; 4th and 5th worlds were released in an update today.
  • Still buggy, with a few random closes, and massive lag when the ads kick in.  I suspect the developer will address this, but the ad-free version looks appealing.

 

Eep.

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