Hysteria Project 2 in Review – Out of the frying pan and into the fire…

When Hysteria Project (TMA Review) appeared on the App Store back in 2009, it created quite a buzz. As one of the few interactive movies on the platform and the first originally created for the iDevice, it offered a unique experience, both technically and in terms of gameplay. Putting you in the shoes of a careless victim desperately trying to escape the hooded maniac that seems to be in multiple places at the same time, it was a revelation for many thrill seekers on the iOS. The latter can get ready for their second dose as the eagerly awaited  Hysteria Project 2 has just been released.

Hysteria Project 2 is an interactive horror movie for your iPhone, resembling a bit the classic Sega CD games, but originally developed and optimized for iDevice goodness. The story picks up right where the first one ended. Having escaped the shack in the middle of the forest, drugged and exhausted our protagonist finally found his way to civilization. But don’t get your hopes up yet – this “civilization” turned to be a remote and almost abandoned research facility with but a single inhabitant – the mysterious doctor Lisa. Having helped our chap recuperate she flees from the maniac that managed to catch up and leaves us to find our own way through the facility.

As any other interactive movie, playing Hysteria Project 2 boils down to short periods of activity followed by longer periods of watching the events roll out. In contrast to the original, where you were lost and confused in the middle of nowhere, events start to make a little sense in Hysteria 2. You will find reports of the experiments conducted in this remote facility, which shed some light on the origin of the hooded psychopath. And the lovely doctor has quite a tale to tell herself. Finally pieces of the murderer’s diary are scattered across the game, detailing his slide into absolute madness.

Refreshingly, Hysteria Project 2 features much more interactions than are common for the genre, bringing the game ever so closer to the more classic first person point-and-tap adventures. The developers went so far as to include real-live puzzles, like putting together a torn photograph or finding the correct frequency for the earpiece to connect with our mysterious doctor. Don’t fret though, Hysteria Project 2 keeps all the hallmarks of the interactive movie genre, like action scenes where you have to tap the spot as it is highlighted or swipe to avoid incoming lasers.

The graphics are a mix of both rendered and digitized screens, with all cutscenes done using Full Motion Video, truly bringing the feel of living out the story for yourself. The game is naturally designed for the headphones to suck you into the atmosphere, but thankfully subtitles are present as well, which allows one to play on the move much more easily. The interface is simply stellar, doing away with the d-pad that is present in all those classic interactive movie games. The only issue I had was with the scenes where you have to tap on the spots highlighted with the game seemingly not recognizing my efforts. It only took me a couple dozen attempts to realize I had to tap the arrow instead of the circle it pointed to.

Hysteria Project 2 is an excellent sequel to a truly original title. Expanding the gameplay in almost all ways imaginable, it rises to be on par with or even surpass both the classic interactive movie games and full blown point-and-tap adventures. The only real downer is the length of Hysteria Project 2; it abruptly ends with the dreaded “to be continued…” after only a couple of hours of playtime, thus making it feel more like a trip to the movies than a full-blown game. But featuring an involving story that finally sheds some light on the mysterious events and atmospheric gameplay, it further sets the scene for a promising series of games that will keep both the adventure game fans and the casual players craving for more.

With this I declare Hysteria Project 2 officially touched!

App Summary
Title: Hysteria Project 2Developer: Bulkypix
Reviewed Ver:1.1Min OS Req:4.0
Price:$1.99App Size:263.63MB
  • Excellent graphics and atmospheric music and sound-effects
  • An unique and well-balanced blend of puzzles and action scenes
  • Some answers to wtf is going on
  • Ends a bit too quickly

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