Alien Hominid: PDA Games
What's old is new again, and you'll enjoy every platform hopping second.
Alien Hominid, first released on PlayStation 2 and GameCube in 2004, includes a bonus PDA mode that features a variety of challenging levels that task players with guiding a unnamed stick figure from one side of the stage to the other while avoiding hazards.
It's been a long time since we enjoyed this game, so you can imagine our surprise upon learning that developer The Behemoth chose to bring this addictive creation to the App Store. The result, Alien Hominid: PDA Games, is a real treat for platform fans, especially those interested in getting the most bang (literally) for their buck.
The first fifteen levels (the tutorial) are free to play. From there, you can spend $0.99 to unlock the full effort, which contains an impressive 500 levels. This is without question the single biggest bargain for iPhone and iPad we've seen.
Money aside, the game is quite stellar. Each board asks you to kill all of the enemies (by jumping on their heads) while presenting the opportunity to snag a set number of green gems to boost your score. Defeating the gun toting bad guys opens the exit, and from there, it's a matter of reaching it without perishing.
That, as expected, can be quite difficult because it's one hit and you're dead. This includes taking a bullet, falling into water (some levels have a tiny boat for safe passage) and plummeting onto sharp spikes. Croak, and you restart from the beginning of the board.
Thankfully, the virtual controls are about as spot on as can be. You'll still slip up and curse the virtual thumb stick and jump button, but everything becomes second nature for the most part. With this in mind, expect some trial and error along the way.
OK, on to the disappointment. Although the game includes more than 20 achievements via Game Center, there are no online leaderboards. Granted, that would be tough given the sheer number of stages, but at the very least, the devs could have split the leaderboard into specific sections; fastest time through all of the Euro levels, for example.
On top of that, there's no level editor, which was apparently included (we never used it) in the original game. Would be cool to design our own boards and upload them for others to enjoy.
Keep in mind these complaints are minor. Alien Hominid: PDA Games is a delightful effort every App Store user should own. If only The Behemoth would release Alien Hominid proper, we'd be set.
Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.2 or later.
[Editor's Note: Footage not taken directly from App Store version, but it'll give you an idea what the game's about.]
What's Hot: Only a buck for 500 levels, tutorial is free to play, cool white and gray retro graphics, universal support.
What's Not: No level editor or leaderboards.