Hell is no nice place to hang around in. Dante knows all about it now he is trying to rescue the love of his life Beatrice from eternal damnation. Based loosely on the classic Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri The Inferno comes packed with literary and mythological references. Guided by Virgil the Roman poet Dante has to solve puzzles from Limbo to Paradise going past such sights as Inferno and Purgatory.
The Inferno is a top down puzzler where you control Dante. There are three different control layouts for touch controls. Keypad either to the left or right, and a split pad with the left/right at the left of the screen and bottom/up at the right. The controls work quite well but at times they feel slower than the game demands. Dante moves in squares, and this can make him feel like a stuttering old person when you try to outrun a fireball.
Puzzles range from just collecting orbs in the right order to timing your movements to avoid spinning fireballs, and ghostly apparitions. To complete a puzzle you have to collect all the orbs, and get into the portal. Most levels have checkpoints to help you avoid doing hard parts over and over once completed. The puzzles overall feel fresh, and when I have to time my movements it feels almost like Super Mario Bros in intensity. There are various power ups to pick up as well, for example speed that is sorely needed at times.
What sets The Inferno apart from most other games is the presentation with a great deal of quotes, literary references and great written dialogues between Dante and Virgil. Having Virgil expressing himself in a combination of modern speech and classical saying is cool. No voiceovers but it is still as fun just reading the conversation on the screen.
Graphics is good as far as top down puzzlers are concerned. It has a definite sense of depth to it, and most objects are easy to distinguish. The characters are nicely depicted when they talk to each other. Overall The Inferno feels polished. The music and sound effects are good and suitable to the game, and if you turn the game music off you can play your own while keeping the sound effects.
Another aspect of the game that is unique is that you don’t have limited lives but rather the game counts your deaths. This is the number found at the top left of the screen. You also have limited time to complete the game, a timer in the top right counts down from four hours to zilch. Depending on the time you take to save Beatrice you get a different ending.
Gamelife is quite hefty with 121 levels that can be played in both story mode and time trial mode. And some levels are really hard, and by hard I mean crazy hard. 14 achievements to unlock also helps keeping the hours ticking. I have yet to complete the game as it demands speed I sorely lack. If you have played World’s Hardest Game you get an idea of some of the levels of The Inferno. Having the deaths accumulate stress me out somewhat.
Dante’s journey through the five circles of hell in The Inferno is a delight to any fast fingered player with an interest in classic literature. If you are looking for a slow puzzle game that lets you do things at your own pace The Inferno is not for you. Then again this is hell we are talking about, and it is supposed to be a hard place to hang around.
The Inferno $4.99
Seller: Javaground USA, Inc.