Badland is the prettiest indie we’ve seen in a long time

Badland won Best Project at last month’s Game Connection Europe, and the trailer makes it easy to see why: the game marries the one-button simplicity of Tiny Wings with the mechanical platforming menace of Limbo, under an aesthetic so polished it fairly glistens. The game is the baby of Frogmind studios, the new two-man Helsinki shop started by Johannes Vuorinen and Juhana Myllys, who worked on the well-regarded XBLA dirt bike game Trials Evolution. 

When the duo set out to make Badland, they were less inspired by other games than by a sense of place.

“We both love physics based games,” Vuorinen says. “There’s always something thrillingly unpredictable in a well-made, physics based gaming environment. We felt that too many games these days look like, well, games. We wanted to create a place that feels and sounds real. The biggest visual inspiration for BADLAND was actually nature itself: rain forests, plants and animals.”

While the look will remind many gamers of Limbo, Vuorinen says the game with the greatest visual influence on Badland is the 2011 adventurer Machinarium

Frogmind has only been working on Badland since April, but expects to release the game for iOS in February or March of next year.