I’ve got an angry rabbit prince of Hell in my pocket.
As a mobile spin off title from SEGA’s awesome 2D platformer Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit, Hell Yeah! Pocket Inferno once again has the player controlling Ash, the rabbit prince of Hell. But if you were expecting something similar to the original XBLA, PSN and PC game, you may be slightly disappointed.
Hell Yeah! Wrath of the Dead Rabbit is a 2D platformer filled with attitude. Besides the questionable controls that plague all mobile platformers, there is no real reason why the original game couldn’t come to iOS devices in its original form. However, Hell Yeah! Pocket Inferno offers something slightly different. The art style is still there, and there is attitude, albeit without the excessive gore. But the gameplay has changed from platforming to objective based constant running.
Ash is mounted on his jetbike contraption and will start moving through the level as soon as the game begins. The player needs only concern themselves with avoiding obstacles by pressing the onscreen jetpack button, and killing monsters with the onscreen shoot button. Could it really be that simple?
Well, no. First up, each level requires more than just reaching the finish. The player is presented with objectives for the levels and then is scored not only for achieving these objectives and finishing the level, but also for how long they took. The objectives are varied and can be really difficult. Kill a boss in under 40 seconds, don’t shoot any monsters, don’t use your jetpack. The levels may be relatively short, but players will find themselves repeating them over and over again, memorising the layouts as they attempt to complete the objective. Easy it is not.
The second obstacle to simplicity is the one hit death mechanic. There are no energy/health bars, no three hits and you are out. Hit an obstacle, get eaten by a monster, or get shot and its time to start the level again.
This is compounded by the fact that jet pack control is imprecise. You tap or hold the button, depending on how high you want to go and how long you want to stay up for. But it is floaty and you move in an arc rather than a straight line. Jumping over things is quite easy, but trying to move down a narrow path with obstacles both above and beneath is an absolute nightmare.
But no one said that difficult games can’t be fun. Constant running games are always filled with restarts, and Hell Yeah! Pocket Inferno is no different. Playing the game, even with the floaty jet pack, is very addictive. Combine this with some really nice visuals, some awesome sounds and tons of stuff to unlock, such as silly masks for Ash to wear, and you have a reason to pick Hell Yeah! Pocket Inferno over the other constant runners on the App Store.
Hell Yeah! Pocket Inferno may not be a patch on the original Hell Yeah! game, and may have entered an already flooded genre, but at 69p for 50 levels of objective achieving, there is a lot of fun to be had here. The difficulty may put some off, but if you are up for a challenge, grab Hell Yeah! Pocket Inferno and go to Hell!