Inferno! received a Second Chance with the Chick.  Click here to read it.  Consider this review the definitive review of the game. 

Inferno is a 1984 coin-op isometric shooter by Williams where you play as a dude who has to.. oh wait, wrong Inferno.

Okay, let’s try again.  Inferno is an Xbox Live Indie Game twin-stick shooter by radiangames where.. fuck, that’s not the right game either.

Do you guys see how this can get confusing?  I mean damn, Indie games have enough trouble finding an audience without giving them the exact same names as other stuff already out there.  If you’re going to go through all the trouble of making a game, at least give it a name that will stick out in a Google search.  Yeesh.

Okay, so the game I actually played was Inferno!  I guess it’s supposed to stick out because it has an exclamation mark, as if it’s being yelled out.  Yea, well what if I walk into a room where two guys are screaming at each other over obscure, lost Williams games from 1984 that never were included in Arcade Treasure compilations?  What then, mother fuckers?  WHAT THEN?

Terribly sorry for that whole episode folks.  Won’t happen again.

So Inferno!  You play as this tank-train thingie that has to travel across rails shooting at various enemies while scooping up items and sucking up all the lava on each stage.  It’s kind of like Battle City meets Make Trax.  And if even half of you have actually played those games I’ll eat my hat.

The graphics are straight out of the 80s, a style I normally like.  Here, it’s a bit more problematic.  There are lots of different items that you can find, but they’re hard to distinguish from one-another.  I had the same issues with spotting the enemy cannons.  They don’t really stick out enough, and your dude moves  so fast that you don’t always have time to sit still and get a lay of the land.  Don’t get me wrong, the graphics are well done for the most part, but the little problems can cause some big headaches.

Where the game really shines is level design.  Early on, things are bit more straight forward.  Scoop up the lava, get to the exit.  Later, gates and keys are introduced that segment the stages and create a nice sense of exploration.  Unfortunately, at times there’s so many cannons firing that it gives Inferno! almost a bullet-hell feel.  And this is not helped by loose controlling that sometimes makes turning corners difficult, even with the D-pad.  This can be made even worse by a “helpful” item that speeds up your movement.  It reminded me of the shoe in Bubble Bobble where getting it cripples the control scheme and makes accuracy next to impossible.

The biggest flaw in the game is the continue system.  Every four levels, you play a “bonus stage.”  Normally in games, these are fun little chances to rack up some extra items.  For whatever reason, the developer of Inferno! instead went the dick-move route of having you earn the right to continue in them.  You have to get every single item to get a password (no shit, a password, in 2011!) that allows you to return to the latest world you’ve reached if you game over.  And just to complete the assholery of this, you have to do it with the game’s already slippery controls and a very short time limit.  Seriously, that whole system is as bad an idea as betting on the fattest greyhound at the track.

Overall, Inferno! was just alright for me.  The concept is neat and the level design can be inspired, but the controls are a little too unforgiving and the whole password system can fuck off.  There is some fun to be had, but you’re likely to be frustrated by game’s end.  It’s also kind of overpriced at 240MSP.  At 80MSP, I think I could have given it a slightly more enthusiastic seal of approval, instead of the one I just gave it that’s attached using boogers and phlegm.

Inferno! was developed by Williams radiangames Dante Alighieri Archifishal Software

240 Microsoft Points let us descend into the blind world in the making of this review.

UPDATE: Inferno! now costs 80 Microsoft Points as of January 7, 2012.  For more information read the Second Chance with the Chick review of Inferno!

Video courtsey of Indies onPause.

About Indie Gamer Chick
Indie game reviews and editorials.

9 Responses to Inferno!

  1. lol I Iove your reviews, “attached using boogers and phlegm.” lol

  2. zimpsonr says:

    Make Trax was a blast!

  3. Calvin says:

    Nice review.

    The password system seems to make some sense, given the ’80s feel. No idea if that’s what the devs were going for – or if that makes things any better – but that’s my impression.

  4. Nate Graves says:

    My first impression of the password system was “That’s really cool! Way to keep the retro theme consistent, guys.”

    Then I failed my first bonus stage and died in the subsequent level and had to start over from the beginning.

    It’s like seeing a six-year old swinging a full-size baseball bat. You know it’s a bad idea, but it’s so cute to watch them try all the way up to the moment where they take your nuts out with it.

    • I’m releasing a new version on Friday (2 December) which means you always get the password whether you win or lose the bonus stage, and also it now saves the passwords for you so you don’t have to bother writing them down 🙂

  5. Pingback: Inferno! (Second Chance with the Chick) « Indie Gamer Chick

  6. Pingback: Indies in Due Time: May 19, 2012 I Love the Polish Edition « Indie Gamer Chick

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