Since the release of the ultra-popular Doodle Jump, the App Store has played host to numerous games that attempt to modify or build on Lima Sky’s addictive formula in one way or another — some with more success than others. Volcano Escape by Bravo is by far one of the most interesting takes on the genre that I’ve yet encountered. One part dual-stick shooter, one part platformer, the game is surprisingly complex. In it, your goal is to make your way up the inside of a volcano. You can double jump and wall jump, and you even have a virtual stick on the right side of the screen that allows you to take down enemies with a machine gun. As you ascend, rising lava will remain hot on your heels, so speed and precision is of the essence.
Volcano Escape feels a lot more fleshed out than some of the other Doodle Jump-esque games on the App Store. There are numerous unlockable characters that can only be earned after playing the game for a significant amount of time, giving the game some element of longevity and offering players incentive to keep playing.
Volcano Escape probably wouldn’t capture most players for long if it weren’t for the plentiful achievements, unlockable characters, and upgrades that give gamers goals to work towards. Thanks to those inclusions, it’ll stay on my home screen for a long time to come.
That said, despite its pretty graphics and well-designed menus, Volcano Escape can feel a bit clunky at times. Wall-jumping doesn’t always work as fluidly as one might hope, and I found it to be somewhat difficult to switch between jumping (which requires the use of a button on the right side of the screen) and shooting, (which requires players to quickly switch their right thumb to a virtual joystick). It’s not impossible to pull off, but too often I took damage from an enemy because I couldn’t properly manage the control scheme.
Is it worth the price of admission? Volcano Escape by itself is definitely worth the $2.49 its developers are charging for it, but the optional in-app purchases are definitely overpriced. Still, if you don’t mind being locked out some of the game’s content, you won’t miss out on much.