‘Spartans In Candyland’ Review – This is…Candyland?
Ah candyland, that delightfuly simple little childhood board game that I’m guessing most of us remember quite well. Unfortunately, Spartans In Candyland won’t have you traipsing about the idyllic gumdrop and sweets scenery of the familiar childhood board game, nor do the spartan soldiers you play as possess the weapons of antiquity you might expect them to carry. No, I’m afraid the game’s title is somewhat misleading, which might be forgivable, but the game itself is unfortunately not quite as inspired as its perplexing title.
To start with the more favorable aspects of the game, there’s nothing inherently wrong with any of the visuals in Spartans In Candyland. It’s all perfectly servicable as far as the graphics quality goes, however there’s nothing here that really stands out as exemplerary. Also, as mentioned before, the title paints a confusing idea of what you’re getting visually as far as the design of the world that you play in. Expecting the candy cane and gumdrop backgrounds painted on the classic boardgame, it’s a bit perplexing to see a very average looking suburban landscape, outside of a few randomly placed giant junk food items.
So the ‘candyland’ aspect of the title seems to be lacking, unless it is to be inferred that the bear-like creatures that are your enemies in the game are supposed to be gummi bears, but even then it’s at least maybe more like ‘candycity’. Moving on then to the ‘spartans’ aspect, at least that part visually seems to hold water, as certainly the characters you play as look like spartans. The only confusing thing about them mostly though is that instead of a spear or sword these spartans use guns, which is a perfectly acceptable idea though it does add to the realization that the game’s title is misleading.
Moving along to talk about the gameplay, the title is a top-down shooter in the vein of games like the Shadowgrounds series and other similar titles. The controls are simple enough, requiring the use of both analog sticks to move and shoot respectively. There is also a variety of special weapons and powerups that can be used by activating them with the left and right trigger buttons.
The goal of the game is simple, to achieve as high a score as possible. This is done by defending yourself against the gummi bear enemies as you make your way to the nearest checkpoint, then securing that checkpoint, and moving on to the next one. Really that’s about all there is to the gameplay, which could be potentially enough, but the pace of the game is not quite as fast paced as it probably needs to be in order to be compelling for very long.
There is also likely some additional fun to be had when playing co-op with other players, but even in that case I imagine that the novelty of the game and any fun that might be had with it would still be short-lived. There are a few other positive aspects to the game, but these mostly lie with the fairly solid sound design and a decent soundtrack, but these aren’t really enough to save the ultimately mediocre gameplay. In the end, the game feels like it had a lot of potential, but the limited gameplay and unispired visual design isn’t quite enough to warrant more than playing the trial version of the game.
Spartans In Candyland is available on the Xbox Live Arcade. More information about the developers can be found at Marklund Games official website.
Review summary Pros:
Easy to pick-up gameplay
Uninspired visual design, repetitive