Jump for Joy with Bean's Quest!
Not to be confused with the Mr. Bean played by Rowan Atkinson, Bean's Quest is a quirky platformer developed by Kumoblus Games available on iPhone. The titular character is a small (possibly jalapeño) green bean with a sombrero who leaps from platform to platform; in fact, he's so full of beans that you cannot control the jumps, putting a unique twist on the general controls of traditional 2D platformers.
There is real challenge in timing your movements by tapping on the left or right of the screen so that you don't fall down gaps or get taken down by enemies, which can take a bit of getting used to. The soundtrack is very reminiscent of old platformers such as Super Mario Brothers and Sonic, and the gameplay does change in difficulty to make it enjoyable and challenging. In this short review, we’ll evaluate the graphics, soundtrack, and gameplay to see if it’s worth a download.
Bean's Quest Graphics
The graphics for Bean's Quest are vibrant and incredibly reminiscent of an 8-bit or 16-bit platformer from the 1990s. In fact, the early build of the game was promoted with a poster that looked like a Sega Master System cartridge case, so you can see the kind of aesthetic the developers were going for.
The main playable character (a green bean) and the sprites can be described as a mixture of 8-bit and HD – kind of like the stylized retro platformers indie game developers on the whole are currently making. The collectible axolotl (a Mexican salamander) looks very cute and is a great cartoony depiction of the animal.
Overall, the graphics are right up your alley if you're a fan of SNES or Genesis titles from yesteryear.
Bean's Quest Soundtrack
The music by Flashy Goodness isn’t terribly memorable, but it has nice synth trumpet effects that you’d expect in a bigger game like Samba de Amigo. It certainly gives off the right vibe that you are in a cartoony version of Mexico, making the game more "realistic" in that regard.
Bean's Quest Gameplay
Here's the meat and potatoes. The gameplay in Bean's Quest is extremely addictive and keeps you striving to reach all your objectives. You have three main objectives in each level: to collect all the gems; to find and rescue axolotl; and to only bounce the number of times set by the level. This third objective is a bit like golf in that you have to reach the par score of the level or begin again.
The first few levels are pretty easy, but the game gets harder as you progress. The main element of Bean's Quest is timing. You have to time your bounces to perfection to avoid hazards such as spikes -- or from falling off ledges. Getting used to the bouncy nature of this platformer can take a bit of familiarization, but much like driving a car, it soon becomes second nature.
The game has a total of eight worlds: Grasslands, Dusty Desert, Crystal Peak, Skyruins, Wizard’s Lair, and Malmagoz. Each world has at least eight levels, so there is a lot to keep you playing. The levels are pretty short, meaning that you could quite easily fit this in during your lunch break at work or your morning commute (but we don't necessarily advocate gaming and driving). There are no boss fights like in Sonic – the challenge is in reaching all three of your objectives for each level.
Is Bean's Quest Worth Buying?
The game is a fun platformer with a bit of a twist. The Aztec-inspired environments are amazing and the colors of enemies and sprites are very vibrant. That said, the enemies can sometimes be a bit generic and the difficulty level does ramp up very quickly. I did find the controls to lag a bit on my phone, and unlike similar games, you only have the option to move the bean by clicking on the left and right arrows – you can’t switch to swipe controls.
The different objectives make it very reminiscent of the platformers of old, and it’s these that will make you keep coming back to the game for one more go.
The game is available to download for $2.99 on the App Store and for $2.99 on Google Play.