Developed by DeadToast and published by Devolver Digital, legendary side-scrolling shoot 'em up My Friend Pedro burst onto the indie gaming scene in 2019 for Switch and PC. Thanks to its splashy success, Xbox and PlayStation ports soon followed. Now, at long last, mobile devices are getting their turn to give the violent "gun ballet" a whirl with mobile exclusive My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge.
The PC and console versions of the game were fairly complex in terms of mechanics, which have been completely redesigned for this stand-alone mobile experience by the same developer who worked on the original. Free-to-play and featuring simplified touchscreen controls and minimalist graphics, Ripe for Revenge maintains the fast n' furious feel of the original, but loses a bit of the hardcore grit its older sibling is known for. All the same, it's still very likely to be added to our list of best Android games.
My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge
Bottom line: Flashy, fast, and violent, My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge is an impressive evolution of the original formula optimized for the mobile experience.
- Bite size, creative levels with fast n' furious action
- Great blood pumping soundtrack
- Smooth controls and fun gameplay
- Excellent quality for low to no cost
- Some levels can be infuriatingly difficult
- Unique control scheme can be hard to get the hang of at first
- Fairly short with limited replay value
Ripe for Revenge: The Good
Just like its predecessor, My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge is light on story, heavy on action. You play as an unnamed, masked protagonist who has been enlisted to help recover the kidnapped family of the eponymous Pedro, who just happens to be a talking banana. Armed with a couple of pistols and a bloodlust that knows no bounds, you follow Pedro through enemy-infested territory to rescue Pedro's son, daughter, and wife by any means necessary.
|Title||My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge|
|Minimum Requirements||Android 4.4 and up|
|Game Size||Varies with device|
|Play Time||3-5 hours|
|Launch Price||Free / $2.99|
Although lacking the finesse and finer artistic details that the PC/console game boasted, this mobile-exclusive title does an impressive job of crafting levels that enable some seriously high octane gameplay. Levels are generally very short, taking only a few minutes to complete (if that), but the tough part is actually beating them. The gameplay isn't overly complex, but there are enough obstacles in your way to create a challenging experience.
One of the biggest learning curves you'll have to adjust to is the movement, which isn't quite like any other game I've played. Rather than run or walk, you instead drag your thumb opposite of the direction you want to go, which displays an arc showing where your character will jump and land. For example, if I want to jump up a ledge and to the right, I would drag my thumb down and to the left of where my character is standing. Your only other form of grounded movement is a short horizontal dash, which can also be used to slide under walls and obstacles. The dash functions on the same rules that jump does, just drag in the opposite direction of where you want to.
Through your jumps you can also wall jump and wall slide to get around, on top of some super fun environmental assists that really jazz things up, like standing on top of moving skateboards or ziplining around like a madman. Then you add your guns into this already wild mix and things really start to heat up! When an enemy appears within range, you simply tap them to fire. Many enemies only need one shot to take down, but some others have armor or more health and may take quite a few hits before they fall.
Enemies also react to you on a timer, denoted by a small circle that appears around them when they're within range. The circles start to wind down as the enemy prepares to attack you, so you have to kill them before they can kill you first. The color of each circle indicates how quickly an enemy is about to react, so you also need to balance who you're going to take out first to keep anybody else from getting the drop on you.
Movement and gunplay blend together into a beautiful dance of death through the inclusion of some incredible slow-mo action.
These elements all come together in a beautiful orchestra of violence when you add in the final ingredient — the slow-mo. You can and should attack enemies while you're in motion, because doing so activates a brief window of slowed time where you can act much faster than your foes can. You may jump down a shaft and in doing so, activate slow-mo, enabling you to knock out 6 enemies on your way down without ever taking a scratch. It feels immensely satisfying to pull off and never got old for me.
In between areas, there are even these fun extra segments of 3rd person motorcycle action. Using the same controls outlined above, you need to dodge obstacles, shoot off other riders, and survive the gauntlet to progress to the next area. These levels are short, but I really liked them. All of this action is set to a fantastic soundtrack composed by Russian musician Noisecream. You'll be tapping your feet and bobbing your head to the blood pumping synths and percussion as you blaze a trail of destruction through Ripe for Revenge's 37 levels. A good pair of earbuds is a must, just to get the most out of the killer OST!
Ripe for Revenge: The Bad
First, let me say that there isn't much to dislike about Ripe for Revenge. It knows exactly what it's trying to do and the concept is executed very well. Even while playing the pre-release version, I didn't encounter a single noteworthy bug and didn't experience any performance issues on my old Samsung Galaxy S9.
Free-to-play is a relative term here, as one of the game's most crucial features is locked behind a paywall.
That being said, I can imagine that the relative difficulty of the game may be a turn off for some players. It's not overly challenging, but there are some segments where a single wrong move can lead to instant doom. This is where the game's big catch comes into play. Yes, technically Ripe for Revenge is free-to-play. But, if you want to be able to save your progress and start levels over from regular checkpoints, you'll have to purchase thetruly full version of the game for $2.99. A relatively small price to pay for a good game, but it still seems like weird false advertising to me to call a game free-to-play and then turn around and paywall one the most necessary features.
If you don't purchase the full version and you die on level 17, then you have to restart all the way from level 1 and work your way back up. That may not sound that difficult, but there's no healing in Ripe for Revenge. You have 3 hearts worth of health, which can be reduced by enemy gunshots and environmental hazards like barbed wire. Once you've lost your three hearts, you're headed all the way back to level 1. Unless you purchased the full game, of course.
Another small knock against this indie title is that it's pretty short, sitting at just 37 levels. Once you've gotten the hang of the controls, you'll likely find yourself blazing through the game at a quick clip, so the overall experience could be over quite fast, depending on how much you do or don't struggle.
Ripe for Revenge: Should you play it?
Fast-paced, fun, rewarding action games can be hard to do properly on mobile. Thankfully, My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge does a noble job of keeping the spirit of its namesake alive with flashy, creative, and satisfying gameplay. It sacrifices some of the nuance that gave My Friend Pedro its very distinct flavor, but the adaptations were clearly needed to make this kind of game a viable mobile experience with native touchscreen controls.
The weird bait-and-switch with calling this a free-to-play title still bothers me a bit, but at just $2.99 I can't say that I'm really that mad about it. Three bucks seems like a very reasonable price that I'm happy to pay to support the developers. I would also happily recommend My Friend Pedro: Ripe for Revenge to any fan of mobile action games. This is one of the good ones!
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