It’s time to once again join our favourite Hell Rabbit Ash as he breaks out of the console and onto the small screen. Bored of the never ending freeze of winter? Well its time to strap on our jet-pack drill and head somewhere a whole lot hotter with Hell Yeah! iOS, Pocket Inferno.
The aim of the game is to race through Hell killing monsters, blasting obstacles and collecting up your valuable lost photos. The 2D levels scroll sideways automatically leaving you with two basic controls, hover and shoot. At first this seems simple, but you will soon find that the caverns of Hell are full of tricky spots to get stuck in and your path is littered with all types of monsters. So far we have encountered static monsters, monsters who fire back, falling indestructible monsters, exploding monsters and a surprising amount of monsters who look like unhappy clams. The game has 50 levels spread over ten worlds, and with each world containing its own set of unique monsters and obstacles your ride through Hell was never going to be easy.
Success in the game is determined not by the completion of levels, but the fulfillment of objectives. At the start of each level you are given a set of three objectives. These objectives set you tasks such as to collect a certain number of coins, kill a certain number of monsters, find hidden bonus levels or in some cases even pass the level without killing anything at all. Each objective you complete earns you a gold star, and the more gold stars you earn the more levels you will unlock. In a way it’s a little frustrating that the completion of a level means nothing without the gold star, however this does add to the replay value of the levels as it encourages you to go back and search out the stars you may have missed.
In addition to the classic levels, around one in every four levels is a boss battle. Here you must showdown against one of Hell’s wickedest fiends, facing such classics as Susheel (an evil anchovy) and Jurassic Monique (a Triceratops in Percil white underwear). These mega monsters need to be beaten over a series of levels, but defeat them for the final time and you will be treated to a short humorous animation showing their demise. Susheel sushi anyone?
The game also has a decent array of unlockable weapon upgrades, wheel upgrades and costumes. Gold coins are scattered throughout the levels and once collected these can be used in the game shop to kit out Ash and his jet-pack. As well as collecting the coins in the levels there is also the option to buy large numbers in the game’s online store. A more game play friendly way to earn some cash however is to find the hidden bonus levels scattered through the game. These mini levels give you the chance to speed up and earn some much needed coin. Most of the upgrades you can buy focus around pimping up your ride (and Ash) however there are some weapon upgrades which are worth looking out for. In addition to the weapon upgrades you can buy in the shop, certain levels also have weapon drops that you can pick up. These will upgrade your carrot launcher to do everything from fire multiple shots and rockets to allowing you to blast your way into areas you couldn’t reach before. As well as being used to buy upgrades the coins can also be used as a guide through the more frustrating levels. There are places in the levels where the enemy gunfire seems impossible to predict, however by following the trail of coins you will often be able to find a safe path through the chaos.
For those amongst us who enjoy collecting, the Monster index compiles and showcases the various monsters you have defeated. For each photo you collect you are rewarded with an animation of a monster coupled with a humorous description. In addition to building your monster collection there are also achievements to earn and a leader board, giving you plenty of opportunities to showcase your monster blasting skills.
So what did we think of Hell Yeah IOS? Well for a start it is worth saying that this is not so much an adaptation of the original game, but an interpretation using the same theme. Some elements of the original Hell Yeah! such as the side scrolling game play and the carrot launching jet-pack remain, however the game play itself has been re-invented for the touch screen and so feels quite different. Despite this the game keeps true to the theme well and can be pretty challenging at times. The speed of the side scrolling makes navigating levels and avoiding enemy fire devilishly difficult, meaning that you have to be pretty fast with your trigger finger to reach your goal.
Few games however are without flaw, and this is no exception. Despite having a rather solid looking metal jet-pack Ash never seems to fall as fast as you need him to. Hell is littered with objects which need to be avoided, and with the speed of the scrolling sometimes a slow decent just doesn’t cut it. Then there is the voice over. If you fail to keep up with the pace or get hit you die and are returned to the start of the level. Now this is frustrating enough, but just to enrage you further every time you begin the level again the voice over announces you by shouting ‘Ash to the rescue!’ in a loud, commanding voice. Now if you die as much as I do this can get pretty annoying pretty quickly. The good news however is that you can play with the sound levels to make this less grating, though in all honesty I found myself simply turning the sound off all together. On the positive side the re-load time for the levels is next to nothing, so at least there is no long wait to start again should you explode, crash or get left behind.
+ Lots of levels
+ Boss battles add variation
+ Stars give the levels replay value
+ Unlock able upgrades
- Ash doesn’t fall fast enough
- Completing levels alone isn’t enough to help you progress
- ‘Ash to the rescue!’ announcement gets more than a bit annoying
- Not compatible with all types of iPhone (check carefully before you download!)
If you enjoy side scrolling games such as jet-pack joyride, and fancy trying something a little more level based then this may be for you. The childish humour may not be for everyone, but overall the game play is good fun and with a decent amount of levels and good replay value it is worth strapping on your jet-pack and giving it a go.
Until next time,
Hell Yeah! Pocket inferno is out now for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch (note: iOS 4.3 or later, check your device!)
Based on characters by Arkedo studio
The Plus XP Review System
At Plus XP we like to review games a little differently. Instead of giving the usual score out of 10 like most review site do, all games we review are scored out of 100 (or in Plus XP terms 100XP). Each review will feature a XP bar at the bottom of the page representing the score given to a game.