Version Reviewed: 1.01
App Reviewed on: iPad 2
Graphics / Sound Rating:
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Inferno 2 had a lot to live up to – there are plenty of twin-stick shooters around, and the best of them sit as some of the most fun games I have played. When you're in the same genre as something like Geometry Wars, you have to do a pretty good job to measure up.And Inferno 2 manages to do it in style.
Controlling your movement with one thumb and your weapons with the other, you'll battle your way through small hordes of neon wireframe enemies in your constant search for each stage’s locked exit, and the key that will let you advance.
The comparison can’t be avoided – Inferno 2’s visuals bear a distinct resemblance to Geometry Wars and its ilk. Stark lines, sharply contrasting colors, and bursts of light and sound accompany virtually every move and shot. The soundtrack is a well-suited chiptune beat that keeps you engaged. The controls, arguably the most difficult and important piece of any game in the genre, work quite well, though I thought it was an interesting design decision to use the same thumb for activating missiles as you do for movement. This effectively makes you choose between staying agile and mobile, or sitting in place as a turret and firing off far more powerful ordinance. It’s a very clever duality, adding even more depth in a very simple, straightforward way.
Inferno 2 features a fairly wide upgrade system of several different weapons and options, though some of the weapons did feel just a little too similar for me to bother with both of them (and besides, having Spread Shot as an opening choice is pretty much a no-brainer in any shmup). As you fly through the stages finding keys and picking off hordes of enemies, you’ll gain a constant stream of XP that will allow you to unlock new upgrades or improve those you already have. While certainly not the most robust upgrade system, it still offers plenty more than the standard fair these games often have.
On the whole, my time with Inferno 2 was quite enjoyable, but there were a few spots that were less than ideal. The game is dark – playing anywhere other than a dim room often left my ship plowing (painlessly) into walls I occasionally just couldn't see. Also, while each individual stage isn't particularly large, without any sort of a map or radar it was sometimes too easy for me to find myself lost - especially once the game introduced pass-through walls that otherwise looked completely solid. Some better guidance would have been handy.
Small complaints aside, Inferno 2 is a good time. It’s got tight controls, good visuals, fun weapons, solid gameplay, and is definitely a worthy entrant into genre.