Growing up on Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog, one would forgive me for being skeptical about platformers on touch devices. I mean, how do you do a platformer with only touch controls and gyroscopes? But then I played Ubisoft’s Rayman: Jungle Run and knew that it could be done and done well. Wanting more experiences similar to Rayman, I stumbled upon Little Amazon, a side-scrolling platformer from developer Ctools.
Unlike Rayman, which was segmented into traditional platforming levels, Little Amazon is an endless runner in the traditional sense. Instead of just challenging the player to run as far as they can, Little Amazon offers waypoint goals where little bits of story are delivered after reaching a certain cumulative distance. The main protagonist, the little Amazon if you will, Lily flees the lair of the demon Grûûl and seeks the help of others to thwart his plans. However for as nice as the story is, against the backdrop of the same jungle setting over and over, the story contextually seems out of place. Still it is nice to get a little pat on the head for completing something.
Cute story aside, platforming is the name of the game and Little Amazon, mostly gets it right. Lily will set off running from left to right, tasking players with avoiding obstacles that get in her way. Be it jumping over thorny vines, or using her powerful magic to eliminate enemies, Little Amazon controls very well. Jumping is performed by pressing the right side of the screen and magic is performed by pressing the left side.
Lily also has a handful of special abilities that can be bought and upgraded from the in-game store and as they are upgraded the game gets far more manageable. These abilities range from being able to jump higher and use more magic to Lily becoming a small coin magnet or starting a run with an extra life. The currency for the store is coins, which can be collected by Lily as she runs through levels, or bundles of coins can be bought using real money. The important thing to note though is that Ctolls did not lock content behind a pay wall and everything can be had provided you are willing to grind out the coins, including the two random environments.
While there are some occasional technical hiccups that impaired my overall enjoyment, Little Amazon is a ton of fun to play and I found myself returning to it over and over again attempting to beat my last distance run. It may not be Rayman level of quality but it offers up an addictive and fun experience nonetheless.