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Abduction 2, Review (Android)

Abduction 2, Review (Android)
Game Name: Abduction 2
Platforms: Android
Publisher(s): Psym Mobile
Genre(s): Strategy, Arcade
Release Date: June 2010
ESRB Rating: N/A

“Abduction! 2” is a fun and easy to play 2D platformer for Android users.  The concept of “Abduction! 2” is simple: aliens are stealing the animals and the player must free the trapped animals (the story is basically filler for the gameplay). There are basically two objectives in each level depending on which game mode one is playing. The first and main objective is to reach the top of the level in the shortest amount of time possible.  The second objective is to free the caged animals scattered throughout the level by having the player’s character touch the cages.

“Abduction! 2” has the player control an animal that continually jumps upward (the game starts with a cow character but the player can unlock other playable creatures).  The player cannot control the character’s jumping in the sense that once the level starts the character will jump automatically without anyway to stop it.  The player does control the character’s movement left and right by tilting the phone left and right.  The more severely the player tilts the screen the faster the animal travels across the screen. Each level is comprised of different kinds of platforms that the character can jump on to reach the top of the level.

There are a number of platforms in the game.  There are regular platforms that have no special properties, platforms that will collapse once jumped on, platforms that the player can move up or down with his or her finger, fans that will blow the player’s character upwards, platforms with trampolines on them to make the player’s character jump higher, spaceships that will launch the character upward, platforms that automatically move from left to right across the screen, and platforms with spikes on them that will cause the level to end (requiring a restart of the level) if the player’s character touches the spikes.  On top of the different platforms, in certain difficult levels, bombs drop from the sky and if the player’s character hits a bomb a level restart is required.

As well, there are a number of power-ups and items the player can find in the levels to aid in his or her ascent.  All power-ups only last for a few seconds so using them wisely and efficiently is part of the strategy of the game.  The first item the player encounters is the parachute.  Normally if the player’s character falls from a great height the level will end in failure and a level restart is required.  The parachute will slow the character’s fall and allow for a continuation of play once the character lands on a platform. The player does not control the deployment of the parachute but the parachute will deploy automatically in a freefall over a certain distance.  Once the player’s character lands on a platform the parachute disappears and the jumping continues.  The high jump power-up makes the jumps higher than normal. The slo-mo power-up makes the jump’s occur in slow motion, which is useful to get past certain tricky spots in a level that has many spiked platforms.   The final power-up is called crumble and makes any platform that the character lands on collapse. The different platforms and power-ups can offer some fairly engaging levels that require quick timing and a constant surveillance of which platforms are coming up. The power-ups offer some much needed strategy to the simple gameplay and the combination of power-ups, special platforms, and bombs can create some surprisingly tense gameplay.

Completing levels, gaining medals, and freeing animals gives the player in-game money and unlocks accessories and characters to buy in the game’s shop.  Although “Abduction! 2” starts out with a jumping cow there are many other playable creatures. For example, I switched out my cow for a Lama wearing the wizard’s hat accessory.  Unfortunately, the different characters do not offer any bonuses or differences in gameplay and the accessories do not add anything but a visual difference to the character. A character can only wear one accessory at any time so the player cannot mix and match accessories. Giving the different animals different attributes and giving the accessories some gameplay element could have offered more unique gameplay but the ability to customize the character is a nice touch nonetheless.

There are 4 different game modes in “Abduction! 2”: Quick Game, Adventure, Classic, and Kids. “Quickplay” is an assortment of minigames that the player purchases from the game’s shop, such as “Cow Pie.”   “Cow Pie” has a cow jumping upwards to collect pies.  Each pie the cow touches makes the cow grow larger.  Once the cow reaches a certain weight it begins to destroy the platforms it lands on in the level.  “Cow Pie” is the most original minigame “Abduction! 2” has to offer.  Most of the minigames are simply based upon a points system where the higher one gets on the level the more points one gains. What makes the minigames unique however is that they are linked to an online leader board.  The leader board element of the minigames adds a small amount of welcomed competitive play to the game. “Adventure” has the player travelling the world going through over 50 different levels to gain medals and save caged animals (one can achieve either a gold, silver, or bronze medal for completing the level within a certain time).  “Classic” does not have any animals to save and is just about jumping to the top of each of the 50+ levels.  “Kids” is a game mode with one level that has no hazards and there is no way to fail except if the player exits the game before he or she reaches the top.  The game modes in “Abduction! 2” are fun and the difficulty curve as levels become more complex is handled well without too much frustration ruining the experience.  I wish there were some more variety to the minigames but they are a nice addition to the overall game.

“Abduction! 2” offers some fun sound effects and only a few selections of musical tunes to accompany the jumping action.  Unfortunately most of the music does not sound that great and can become annoying during the course of play.  Luckily one can turn the music off in the options menu.  The graphics are not designed to test the power of an Android phone but the simple cartoon look and vibrant colours fit the game well.  Each level has its own unique look based upon the level’s geographical location and some levels have animated backgrounds such as having rain splashing the screen, thunder and lightning flashes, and snowflakes falling.  Although certain backgrounds are recycled the overall look of the game works well with the game’s concept and gameplay.

Overall “Abduction! 2” is a fun game with an easy to grasp formula and equally easy controls.  The tilt mechanic works great and gives the player just the right amount of control over his or her character. Some tedium might set in if one plays for too long but playing the game in quick sessions while travelling on the bus, waiting in a line, or just to have a few brief moments of fun during the day is a great way to engage with this game.  The characters and accessories allow for some fun customization but the customization is limited in its uses by being purely cosmetic in nature.  The different game modes will add some extra playtime but the quick games are short and the Kids game mode is too simplistic and once played offers no reason to go back.  Though some more variety would be welcome the game plays great and for a game just over 3 dollars “Abduction! 2” is an enjoyable addition to anyone’s Android game library.

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