It’s difficult to review Malevolent and not find myself making comparisons to Pocket God, one of the top selling entertainment apps for iPhone. The basic premise behind both games is remarkably similar, yet each has taken it in a different direction.
As its name suggests, Malevolent is an app that lets you torment, dismember and incinerate a horde of tiny people. This is done by dropping traps, blocks, explosives, and other items of destruction on or among them. Make no mistake, this one is definitely not for the kids. The people may be tiny, but you can still make out the little bloody pieces flying across the screen.
The app certainly doesn’t look very polished. The tiny people just walk around lemming-like until they hit a wall, then walk back the other way. The animation for the walking is only about three or four frames cycled over and over. The levels are simplistic and most are no more than a few drawn lines. Even the menu is unimpressive, and lacks any style at all. Keep in mind that you can add a lot of people, which will slow your iPhone way down. If you throw in a stick of dynamite with a mass of people, your iPhone will come to a near standstill.
There are several different maps to make use of. You can also create your own maps by drawing them or importing pictures. Drawing on the iPhone is tricky, but still works better than trying to get a photo to work. Even after erasing the background the photo didn’t work, the people just stayed at the top of the screen.
Also available is challenge mode, which is more of a puzzle game. You must find creative ways to kill all the people on the screen. Unfortunately there are only five challenges to try. The challenges were moderately difficult, but over quickly.
Perhaps I’m just not vicious enough to enjoy watch tiny people killed, burned, or turned into zombies (that is an option). Their tiny screams, the explosions didn’t keep me interested enough to think about coming back for more. Maybe those with a more blood thirsty attitude will enjoy this game more.
Comparing two similar apps like Malevolent and Pocket God is usually something I try not to do. I begin to feel like the parent complaining to a child, “Why can’t you be more like your older brother!” Yet, I can’t help but wish that Malevolent was more like its older brother. Pocket God is much more attractive in art style, more creative in the various ways of interacting with the people you control, and makes better use of the iPhones accelerometer. On top of that, Pocket God is half the price of Malevolent! You can find the review and subsequent comments for Pocket God here so that you can make your own comparison.