1337 Game Design create an explosive sequel to Dark Nebula, it’s the game episode one should have been.
In just under a year, Dark Nebula is back with episode two. An extension of the ball rolling action game I dubbed ‘Extreme Labyrinth’ that sees you piloting a metallic disc through an array of intense assault courses on a quest to destroy the enemy mainframe.
In episode one, you face spinning blades and gun emplacements hell-bent on knocking you off platforms into the abyss or destroying you on the spot. In episode two, 1337 Game Design have upped the ante with far more varied enemies and obstacles, as well as upgrades to your disc-like ship that allows you to take them out. As well as increased platforming puzzles that require not only lightning reflexes but a little strategy too, the levels now throw you into arena style areas where you must take out spawning enemies to open the gate to allow you to proceed. Power pads are available which activates a swirling laser around your ship, which, if the same colour as the enemy will destroy them on contact. Not only must you destroy each enemy spawned, you are required to disable the spewing point. This done by following the power conduits to a power station and destroying it. Only then can you proceed to the next section. As you progress, these get more and more complex, with not only multiple varieties at once, but also end of level bosses. I particularly like the spinning disc enemies that require you to jump on them from a jump pad, only to find they multiply.
Episode one featured some truly tricky platforming, but occasionally in episode two you can’t help but be taken aback by how ingenious some of the levels are. They really have gone to town, throwing every type of obstacle in your path… at times its relentless, but only the more satisfying when you succeed.
I loved the originality of the first game, but was a little harsh on the score based on lack of levels, music and calibration controls. Everything is polished in episode two though, the game is twice as long, and less forgiving too, so you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck. Calibration has been added not only in the menu section, but through an anytime double finger tap of the screen, re-calibrating your position on the go. Aurally the game features some great music, that perfectly fits the games style and action.
My only gripe about episode two is that the final level feels rather disjointed. It’s a cool idea, but a little anticlimactic in its delivery. However, as long as this doesn’t dictate the future of the franchise, then I think we are in good hands for the third instalment. Dark Nebula Episode Two is a triumph of budget game design on the AppStore. One NOT to miss!
Dark Nebula – Episode two is out now for $0.99. Get it on the