Super Meat Boy's replayable challenge and smartly simple design would make it a natural for an iPhone, right? Yeah, not much chance we'll be seeing that. But consider League of Evil, which draws on the same concept while expanding it.
Released this week by Ravenous Games, League of Evil follows the same gameplay objective as Super Meat Boy - speed run through a platform level, avoiding spikes and hazards, using double-jumps and wall-hugging. To this, League of Evil adds ninjas, pistol-packing guards and optional objectives. Add in a simple, nonobtrusive virtual gamepad and an appealing chiptune soundtrack and you've got a winner.
The nominal story of League of Evil involves you, a super-agent, being sent to assassinate a team of bad-guy scientists whose collaboration threatens the world. There are 50 of them, located at the end of each level in League of Evil. Get to them and take them out with your slide attack (the "A" button on the virtual pad) and that completes your run.
Along the way, you're given an intel briefcase whose pickup adds to your score (and the time completing the level), and it isn't always in a convenient spot. Adversaries get nastier and more diverse, ramping up the difficulty solidly past about the 15th level.
While all of League of Evil's components are derivative of some other work, taken together, they form a very enjoyable game that, at a single dollar, delivers very high value. Not many works this robust, offered at that price, also feature a free lite version, too, so you can try that before you buy.
In sum, League of Evil is a pick-up-and-play mobile game that presents several appeals to a lifelong hardcore gamer's sensibilities, at a sensible price.
League of Evil [iTunes]