Date: 12-03-2010 03:01
Author: Matt Gonzales

PDC profile: Matt

Landit Bandit, the PSN helicopter puzzle game made by a 6 man indie team. With motion controls, split-screen multi-layer, and trophies, does it stack up where other games fall in this genre?

Start Flying!

Landit Bandit starts off with an angry art thief, Lander, stranded on a island. Lander stumbles upon a man named Marley that helps him take Leonardo DaVinci's art sketches to Mr. Art Steeler. From one of the art sketches in Landers suitcase, Marley makes a helicopter out of wood. Throughout the game, you meet others that help you along the way getting towards the big city. Each character gives you a certain ability that you can use to help out the locals. But like most tasks, you'll get timed picking up locals and performing certain tricks to get extra points in your final score. Picking up people just does not work well with the game's physics. You're going to have a tough time getting used to the controls and physics of Landit Bandit, but practice makes perfect.

The physics don't go well along with the default controls. You use the R2 to fly the helicopter, L2 for boost, L1 for grabbing rocks or ingredient , right analog stick for camera, and steering is done with either the left analog stick or via motion controls. These are the main controls that you're going to use but the R1 is to fire coconuts, this is not available until the end of the game though. Poor accuracy with the left analog stick will cause you to crash frequently, making this game very frustrating. Instead, I highly recommend you use the motion controls. I honestly didn't notice that this game had sixaxis controls until after I had beat this game. If you have played Flower, then you'll feel right at home with the motion steering. I don't know why the motion steering aren't enabled by default. The control scheme does become easy after a while but motion steering settings is the best way to play this game.

Each level is set with a theme, and as expected, the theme goes with the characters that you meet. There are 6 areas, 20 levels, and four unique characters who help you with your task. On Paradise, a lady named "Islandbabe" helps you pick up the Standard Male Characters. Yes, they named the people you pick up "Standard Male Character." She makes the men jump on the helicopter at a certain distance. On the Rocky level, an old guy named "Mounty" lets you throw a hook which makes your helicopter swing. This was one of my favorite levels in the game that I found very fun to play, yes, the hook is used in other levels but just is not as very fun. Baron and Megadragon help your helicopter by giving you bags to make you drop down faster and give a turbo boost.

I'm Crashing!
The flaws of Landit Bandit makes it a frustrating and irritating game. Yes, it's a puzzle helicopter game, but i still find it annoying discovering the most simple of things difficult. For example, it took me twenty minutes to find out that I needed to use a rock at the bottom of the sea to set on a switch, however, it could have been just me not looking around for rocks. Another example would be beating the last level, which took me 48 tries to throw a coconut 3 times at a giant squid. When the Bearded Ladies said this game had full physics, they meant it! The controls are overpowering by the game's physics in a sense.

If you switch up the control scheme every so often, you'll get the best precision for each level. While it took me 48 tries to beat the giant squid at the end of the game on an analog stick, it took only 2 tries using the motion steering. From time to time you do get your helicopter stuck between objects. For example, in the 2D level you'll get stuck in between buttons that you need use along the level. In which this is the frustrating part of the game, constantly retrying and making it on time. But this is all the elements in a puzzle game, so it does make sense.

So does it Land?!
Music is a bit on the bland side, but better than most indie titles. I found it confusing that the game gives you access to all the options through the in-game pause menu, instead of through the main menu. Visually, this game's cartoon-ish style looks good. Landit Bandit also features a split-screen mode, which oddly enough, worked out better then the single player mode. My favorite area in the split-screen mode was, once again, the Rocky level. They could have offered more for the split-screen Duel Mode, but regardless, if you have a second PS3 controller, be sure to play the Duel Mode with a friend! Both of you will have a blast playing it.

My final thought about Landit Bandit, is that it's an ok game. You can tell that it was made by an indie team on a small budget. However, it goes to show that a small team can make a solid game. Once you get use to the controls, the game's physics won't interfere with your fun. I feel that the $10 USD asking price is fair. You could beat this game in a single sitting, which won't appeal to gamers looking for a 10+ hour game. With only split-screen, highscores, and 14 trophies, I can't say it is a hidden gem on the PSN, but it is a great helicopter game.

Landit Bandit was developed by The Beard Ladies and is available in both North American and European regions on the PlayStation 3 as a PSN Download. I played through the entire single-player game on Easy in about 4-5 hours, and put in about an hour with the split-screen multi-player mode.

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