Androkids 2


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GrimmrookAndrokids2Now that I'm the father of two young girls, I know for the first time since I was their age what the world must look like through their eyes. Androkids 2, from JadeWare, may not provide much insight into the mind of a three-year-old or a five-year-old, but if my daughters were to make their own platform game this is exactly what it would look like.

In that spirit, I've shown this game to my children, and I will now dutifully and faithfully transcribe their discussion.

K: Wow! This game is soooo cool. You use those buttons with the arrows on them to make your guy move around and the big long button makes you jump and…

C: And-and-and you get fruit and different fruit can do ALL KINDS of stuffs. Like if you eat that fruit right there like a circle it will make you SO BIG or if you eat that other fruit you can jump REALLY HIGH and you go up with the stars and the moon ball.

K: CAM-CAM! I was talking.

C: But, sister, I want to talk…

K: Don't listen to Cam-cam because she's littler than me and she's just a baby and babies don't play games. So, ANYWAY, you jump up and stuff and sometimes you get these black bombs and they go BOOM!

C: And don't forge-et! You have to get all the lellow circle things.

K: Those are c-o-i-n-s Cam-Cam, and you're interrupting me and you're 'sposed to say "excuse me." And you don't HAVE to get the coins.

Androkids2C: Yes you do!

K: No you don't, you HAVE to find the key that opens the door like Mommy and Daddy's keys!

C: Oh, really?

K: (sighs, rolls her eyes) Yes.

C: I wanna try!

K: No Cam-Cam. You already got to play it's MY turn!

C: But you're already playing and you got to play earlery (translation: earlier)

K: No Cam-Cam. Stop pushing!

C: Keiki! You're not sharing!

K: YOU'RE the one who… who… who isn't sharing!

K and C: DA-DDY!

Analysis: I was planning on letting the girls do the whole review, but they've both been sent to their room for fighting and managing somehow to stick the leg of a doll into a port I didn't know my laptop had so I guess I will finish this on my own.

At first blush, it may seem like the childlike aesthetic is the chief thing going for Androkids 2. Indeed, this artistic endeavor is amazingly well done, with crayon colors straying outside the frantically wobbling lines, stick figure flowers, and a sun with a permanent, if a little lopsided, grin. The notebook-paper backdrop seals the deal and reminds me of countless days filling up my binders with doodles when I should have been taking notes.

But underneath the novelty of the artwork lies a very solid platform game. The controls are for the most part tight and responsive, and the level design speaks volumes. In fact it comes as something of a surprise that the creativity that went into designing the levels matches or exceeds the creativity that went into the game's artwork.

Perhaps the largest flaw in Androkids 2 occurs when your character has to contend with a narrow gap. It's a fairly common convention in these types of games that one be able to run over gaps that are only one brick in width; a holdover from the original Super Mario Bros. But while it is clear Jadeware intended to hold true to this mechanic, the side effects have resulted in making it more difficult than it should be to jump up through such gaps or fall down them when necessary.

Still, this is a rather small nitpick for a game that grabs you with its unique visual character and holds you with truly solid gameplay. If you subscribe to the school of impossible platformers you may be disappointed, but if you never quite got over collecting coins and jumping on the bad guys, this is definitely right up your alley.

Play Androkids 2

16 Comments

Wow, great game! I love the notebook-paper feel and hand-drawn graphics.
It really brings back memories of when my friends and I would make paper video games with tape and notebook paper, arguing about whether or not we really touched those spikes or lasers. Good times... Of course, this probably says a lot about why my friends and I never went to any social events and why I wound up becoming cynical and bitter from self-imposed loneliness and isolation... Er... what?
Anyway, fantastic game! :P

By the way, can anyone tell me what the heck "FalconView" is?

Just for reference, because this bugged me for several minutes until I finally figured it out,
On level 6, the key..

is on the far right, beside the castle, behind the king.com logo.

Well, having completed it, I'll say that i wasn't really a fan of it. It just seemed..far too buggy.

The main elements work fairly well and using your power-ups when you need them can be strategic but i think there's a lot of untapped potential in the power-up system the game has. Also, the ? blocks seem entirely unnecessary. The problem is the power-ups are mostly area specific, so it's rather annoying getting a ? block right that makes me giant-sized right before I must use a vine, which you cannot use while a giant. Although the couple levels where the goal is a vertical climb can be made 100% easier with a randomly found superjump. When found, you're about three jumps away from the goal.

Also, for me, level 7, the (oddly named) falconview seemed all buggy. At one point, I fell through some purple blocks that looked solid, as if falconview was on. I knew it was off, but I felt like trying the blocks anyway.

These things, marked with a few visual unpleasantries, and level 10 inexplicably replaying, made a game I didn't really enjoy too much. Although it kept me playing through all 10 + infinity levels, so I was entertained.

Is there a bug or are half the levels the exact same?

Very Super Mario-esque. Nice platform that appeals to a children aspect, but enjoyable gameplay for platformers.

So did the kid run out of paper at page 11?

Does falcon view even do anything?

"andro" kids? What, are they particularly masculine? ;-)

BWHAHAHAHA!

I'm inclined to think you cleaned up that conversation a little bit (I've never heard minature humans refer to a female sibling as "sister" personally, but that doesn't mean it doesn't happen), but aside from that, it's SPOT ON exactly how my neighbor's grandkits talk. Grandkits. It's not a typo. They're "Britty-kitty" and "Bethy-cat," and their grandparents call them "kits" instead of "kids." It's disgustingly cute.

Congratulations on having two lovely minature female humans! I'm happy for you and was pleased to read that little bit about them.

The pencilbook graphics are cute and pretty enjoyable (although I cannot fathom why the "play next level" button is so ugly and completely out of sync with the theme).

The gameplay is, well, meh. It's a Mario clone with pretty uninspired level design. The power-ups are plentiful yet they serve almost no practical purpose. Instead of being introduced to each one in sequence and getting a chance to actually see its use you are bombarded with them from the get-go. Bonus points for fluid controls though.

All in all, a pretty average game. Nothing to get back to, but worth playing once or twice.

Oh, and yes, "Androkids" is a very silly title. I guess it's supposed to be a play on words with "Androids" but the end result is basically "male kids", or more literally "man kids"/"masculine kids".

I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel which will be more oriented toward female audience, called "Gynaekids". :)

Are those your real kids on the review?Looks kinda fake-ish...

I have two issues with the game. One, while you can change the key input, which is AWESOME, you can't change the key input for "down" which means you can't change it into a WASD game! Also you can't change the bomb key.

Second issue is that the jumping and moving is a bit hard to control. I even turned the framerate down and it still felt too loose.

I'm not overly impressed by this game - I'd enjoy it a lot more if I could access the editor, the registration for which stubbonly refuses to accept either of my emails. Apparently, normal email doesn't exist for it, only hotmail and the like...

So, ARE the second half of the levels all the same? I played through it and the last 10 or 11 levels were exactly the same. How come I and only 1 other person has mentioned this?

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