The Inferno in Review – Want to find out where you’re going to end up?

Hell, the final frontier… Wait, you’re not going there, are you? But Dante is on his quest to save the beautiful Beatrice, who was condemned to hell by the hand of her jealous husband. Is he going to make it? What’s he going to find on the way? Is the road to hell really paved with good intentions?

The Inferno is a game, based on the first part of the famous Dante’s Divine Comedy. Well, sort of at least… developer Xpressed decided to take quite an unusual approach and turn the allegorical story of the Christian soul seeing sin for what it really is into a casual arcade/puzzler. The goal is simple – on each level you have to collect all souls and reach the exit. Talk about oversimplification.

The game is broken into 121 levels spread across 5 circles of hell. If it seems a lot – it is. And it’s timed. You have only 4 hours of game time to save your beloved. So get ready for some frantic action. While the goal seems easy, you’re hindered by the hordes of enemies, traps and falling tiles. Don’t kid yourself – you’re going to die in this game… a LOT. On the upside there are no penalties except being warped to the last checkpoint you passed. Also, to help you survive various powerups are scattered around levels including a shield, slow enemies, speed yourself up, etc.

The graphics in Inferno are very nice, with all circles having their own distinct look. The lucky owners of the 3GS will be additionally blessed by various environmental effects like fog. The owners of the 3G, however, even without the added graphics quality will sometimes experience lags on levels with lots of enemies.

The interface is the real bane of Inferno. You can choose between having a virtual D-pad on either side of the screen or having the vertical and horizontal arrows spread out. The character movement is very jerky, with clearly defined steps of moving from one square to the other. Often the controls are either unresponsive or too responsive leading you to your doom.

The other problem is that the game gets repetitive just far too quickly. The puzzles are all fairly simple and only require a good memory for enemy paths and nicely timed taps. At the same time you can easily slip into a bit of overconfidence and try to rush the level, especially after a few failed attempts leading you even more deaths. Achievements try to balance it out a bit, but I did feel the amount lacking and with no social network support (neither Twitter/Facebook, nor OpenFeint, Plus+, etc.),  it just doesn’t cut the cake.

The Inferno is a fair effort by the developer and could be suitable for the more casual gamer that is into arcade/puzzlers. At the same time in no way does it live up to their previous hit title – UniWar. It’s hard for me to recommend the game to anyone specifically, but you can always pick up the “Lite” version (the first 50 levels for $0.99) and see if The Inferno is for you.

With this I declare The Inferno officially touched.

App Summary
Title: The InfernoDeveloper: Xpressed
Reviewed Ver:1.0.0Min OS Req:2.2
Price:$2.99App Size:12.7 MB
  • A LOT of levels
  • Nice graphics
  • The opportunity to have an overview of the famous story
  • Repetitive
  • Small assortment of powerups
  • Poor controls

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