Developer: Pascal Bestebroer
Price: $1.99
Version: 1.5
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Photo 3There’s challenging, and then there’s extremely difficult. Meganoid 2 may be labeled by the latter description. This old-school 8-bit platformer is absolutely not for the casual gamer, but rather for the hardcore fan of the genre. In it, players navigate through dungeons and caves while seeking the hidden treasure. Players must avoid spikes, snakes, boulders, and other obstacles in order to complete each level. While the game is fun for the most part, its difficulty level does become somewhat frustrating.

There are plenty of levels to play in, each one being very short in length, but very high in difficulty. They are all fairly similar venues, as they are meant to portray tombs, temples, or dark caves. The objective in each level is very simple: reach the exit while avoiding the obstacles. Additionally, players receive bonus achievements for completing the levels in a certain amount of time and finding the hidden treasure. While the time achievement is not so difficult to accomplish, the hidden treasure achievement is. The treasure could be anywhere in the level, and may not always be visible at first. Players need to blindly search for secret hidden passageways that lead to the treasure. There are no hints or clues either. For me, it was simply luck to find the treasure.

Photo 2There are three buttons to control the character: left, right, and jump. These responsive controls may be conveniently positioned anywhere on the screen, offering some degree of customization. This is one aspect of the game I really enjoyed: the simplicity of the control scheme. This simplicity may have been necessary to compensate for the challenges each level throws at the player. Most of the time, players will use trial and error to arrive at the destination. Jumps must be timed perfectly, and even double jumps are important in order to make it over certain obstacles. If the player hits a spike or arrow, the character dies and must start at the very beginning of the level. This is where additional frustration comes into play. There are no checkpoints.

The old-school graphics and sound are fantastic in this game and really brought me back. The style is not only fun, but nostalgic. However, it should be emphasized that casual gamers may find this game a bit frustrating. The amount of trial and error involved with completing each level is just a bit too much for the average player. On the other hand, those hardcore players will absolute love the challenge.

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