photo 4Illusion Labs is easily one of our favorite iPhone developers. Each of their iPhone titles so far have taken clear advantage of the platform's unique abilities in order to produce compelling gaming experiences. Illusion Labs has been responsible for the sort-of-platformer Sway as well as the finger skateboarding game TouchGrind. Both of these titles used multi-touch in a well-thought out control method that really complimented the gameplay of each.

When you look back at their first iPhone game Labyrinth, you may now consider it to be relatively primitive, but at the time of its release, Labyrinth really set the standard for ball rolling games. According to the developers, Labyrinth has been downloaded over 10 million times since its launch.

For their next game, Illusion Labs is going back to these early roots and is finally producing a sequel to the original ball roller with Labyrinth 2. After having spent some exclusive hands-on time with the game, I can already say it's great.

02_Screenshot 04_Screenshot

Like the original game, the goal of Labyrinth 2 is to get the silver ball from the starting point to the goal while navigating walls and avoiding the holes. In the first version, that was pretty much all there was to it. Labyrinth 2, however, adds a number of new elements that graduate the game from simple wooden toy simulator to arcade game.

These elements include cannons, bumpers, doors/switches, magnets, fans, resizers, merry-go-round, duplicators, lasers and more. Navigating the levels still require careful tilt control to avoid falling to your death, but are also more puzzle/goal driven as you must also figure out how to make it to the exit. Levels are timed as before so beating your individual high scores remains the motivator to play a level again. This time, however, they've added a ghost ball representation of your best time for you to directly compete against.

editorBeyond the compelling core gameplay, the developers have also added a couple of additional features that should extend the game's life indefinitely.

Like the original, players can create their own levels with a fully featured web-based editor. These free user creations can be sorted by popularity and rating and can be downloaded directly to your device. Finally, the game offers a very nice local multi-player setup over both bluetooth and Wi-Fi. This lets you play up to 4 people on the same board. In this case, all of the player's balls will appear on each other's screens -- similar to ghost ball replays, but played in real time. All players movements are reflected on everyone else's devices so you know exactly how far ahead or far behind you are. First to the goal wins, and a running score is kept as you continue playing across any of the levels. I suspect this feature alone will cause the game to spread like crazy amongst offices and schools.

The developer's intro trailer starts with a cinematic and later shows actual gameplay:

There's been no official release date, but Labyrinth 2 should be coming soon and it's definitely one to look forward to.

  • Vicente Ragal

    Woot!? Omg, this looks amazing. Must buy for me. Keep up the good work IL.

  • Vicente Ragal

    Woot!? Omg, this looks amazing. Must buy for me. Keep up the good work IL.

  • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

    VERY cool trailer!
    Will definitely buy, loved the original one for it's realism...
    Don't know, if I like that the the steal ball can be shot to dust, but everything else looks very cool.

    • http://illusionlabs.com Anders

      Thanks!

      The blue cannons shoot rubber balls and they push the ball away, but the black cannons shoot real cannon balls and destroy your. We found that little cartoon clouds suited the theme of the game pretty good (i.e. cheerful and stylish).

      Cheers,
      Anders, from Illusion Labs

  • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

    VERY cool trailer!
    Will definitely buy, loved the original one for it's realism...
    Don't know, if I like that the the steal ball can be shot to dust, but everything else looks very cool.

    • http://illusionlabs.com Anders

      Thanks!

      The blue cannons shoot rubber balls and they push the ball away, but the black cannons shoot real cannon balls and destroy your. We found that little cartoon clouds suited the theme of the game pretty good (i.e. cheerful and stylish).

      Cheers,
      Anders, from Illusion Labs

  • Gryphon23

    I thought the first labrynth was BORING; But this game looks AWESOME!

    • MrMuesli

      Agreed. The first one had that 'Wow, look what I can do on my iDevice' factor (it was the first game I ever bought. but it got pretty boring pretty fast. This one however looks simply amazing: )

  • Gryphon23

    I thought the first labrynth was BORING; But this game looks AWESOME!

    • MrMuesli

      Agreed. The first one had that 'Wow, look what I can do on my iDevice' factor (it was the first game I ever bought. but it got pretty boring pretty fast. This one however looks simply amazing: )

  • jeff

    The best feature is the editor! I remember drawing own maps with paint and converting them into labyrinths for the jailbreak-version. But the editor in the video seems to be a lot easier to use^^ And has of course a larger set of elements.

    • http://illusionlabs.com Anders

      Oh yeah, the editor is so much better now. The one for L1 was pretty spiffy, but this one is better in so many ways. Easier to use, and you can pretty much do whatever you can think of. You can make some pretty complex levels for sure (if you're into puzzles).

      I just wanted to add that Arn was testing out a RC of the game and the editor wasn't finished at the time, so the screenshot of the editor doesn't resemble how it looks today (or will look when the game is launched).

      Cheers,
      Anders, from Illusion Labs

  • jeff

    The best feature is the editor! I remember drawing own maps with paint and converting them into labyrinths for the jailbreak-version. But the editor in the video seems to be a lot easier to use^^ And has of course a larger set of elements.

    • http://illusionlabs.com Anders

      Oh yeah, the editor is so much better now. The one for L1 was pretty spiffy, but this one is better in so many ways. Easier to use, and you can pretty much do whatever you can think of. You can make some pretty complex levels for sure (if you're into puzzles).

      I just wanted to add that Arn was testing out a RC of the game and the editor wasn't finished at the time, so the screenshot of the editor doesn't resemble how it looks today (or will look when the game is launched).

      Cheers,
      Anders, from Illusion Labs

  • http://twitter.com/saviopalm Savio

    I guess we won't be seeing an update for Sway too soon then....

  • http://twitter.com/saviopalm Savio

    I guess we won't be seeing an update for Sway too soon then....

  • HerbertKornfeld

    Having already bought this off of both Installer and the App Store, I can't wait to get this new version; it looks great.

    The multiplayer sounds pretty fun, but I think it'd be even better if you could actually collide with the other players. The ghost ball solution is probably more practical, but I'd love to be the saboteur in a multiplayer romp. Perhaps it could even be reworked into a last man standing style of play.

  • HerbertKornfeld

    Having already bought this off of both Installer and the App Store, I can't wait to get this new version; it looks great.

    The multiplayer sounds pretty fun, but I think it'd be even better if you could actually collide with the other players. The ghost ball solution is probably more practical, but I'd love to be the saboteur in a multiplayer romp. Perhaps it could even be reworked into a last man standing style of play.

  • TTT

    It would be nice if this one has the same haptic feedback (vibration) feature like Teeter on windows mobile phones.
    Game looks good though

    • http://illusionlabs.com Anders

      We have some tactile feedback, but it is disabled by default. The problem is that you cannot set neither the strength nor the time of the vibration, you can just say "vibrate!". You will get the standard vibration that you get when you get a new email/sms etc.

      It vibrates too long too much, in other words it, it's pretty much useless. However, it is possible that Apple changes the API in an OS update.

      Cheers,
      Anders, from Illusion Labs

      • http://peterhirschberg.com Peter Hirschberg

        I hate this about the API as well!

        Here's to hoping, along with you, that a future version of the OS/SDK supports vibration duration so you can just give subtle little vibration "blips" like the WiiMotes do.

        -Peter Hirschberg
        http://vectortanks.com

  • TTT

    It would be nice if this one has the same haptic feedback (vibration) feature like Teeter on windows mobile phones.
    Game looks good though

    • http://illusionlabs.com Anders

      We have some tactile feedback, but it is disabled by default. The problem is that you cannot set neither the strength nor the time of the vibration, you can just say "vibrate!". You will get the standard vibration that you get when you get a new email/sms etc.

      It vibrates too long too much, in other words it, it's pretty much useless. However, it is possible that Apple changes the API in an OS update.

      Cheers,
      Anders, from Illusion Labs

      • http://peterhirschberg.com Peter Hirschberg

        I hate this about the API as well!

        Here's to hoping, along with you, that a future version of the OS/SDK supports vibration duration so you can just give subtle little vibration "blips" like the WiiMotes do.

        -Peter Hirschberg
        http://vectortanks.com

  • http://bookmarkapp.com @barryezl

    The original Labyrinth is still one of my favorite games and this update looks fantastic. Keep up the good work.

  • http://bookmarkapp.com @barryezl

    The original Labyrinth is still one of my favorite games and this update looks fantastic. Keep up the good work.

  • http://musiquenontalent.blogspot.com robman84

    I am really looking forward to this! I also bought the original in the pre-app store days via Installer and I still love it. The new elements look cool, as does multiplayer.

    Can't wait!

  • http://musiquenontalent.blogspot.com robman84

    I am really looking forward to this! I also bought the original in the pre-app store days via Installer and I still love it. The new elements look cool, as does multiplayer.

    Can't wait!

  • triela

    At the very least, other developers could take note of the comprehensive, yet succinct effectiveness of the trailer.

  • triela

    At the very least, other developers could take note of the comprehensive, yet succinct effectiveness of the trailer.

  • eri

    Woow, I'm still addicted to the first Labyrinth but now - this!
    It looks fantastic... Can't wait to buy the release!

  • eri

    Woow, I'm still addicted to the first Labyrinth but now - this!
    It looks fantastic... Can't wait to buy the release!

  • rich_952000

    Believe it or not, I never tried Labyrinth. I like all the guys and gals over at Illusion Labs and love Touchgrind and Sway so I'll pick this up when it drops; looks damn impressive and immensly fun :D

  • rich_952000

    Believe it or not, I never tried Labyrinth. I like all the guys and gals over at Illusion Labs and love Touchgrind and Sway so I'll pick this up when it drops; looks damn impressive and immensly fun :D

  • Alex

    Will there be a jump feature like in wooden labyrinth 3d? That would be perfection. I'm totaly going to buy this.

    • http://www.illusionlabs.com Anders

      Nope, no jumping.

  • Alex

    Will there be a jump feature like in wooden labyrinth 3d? That would be perfection. I'm totaly going to buy this.

    • http://www.illusionlabs.com Anders

      Nope, no jumping.

  • Steve

    Game looks great and heh... what's the music in the trailer?!

    • http://www.illusionlabs.com Anders

      Music is composed by Organ Donor, we love their music! They did the music for the Sway trailer as well by the way!

      • Steve

        I did a quick iTunes search and couldn't that music or any other by them. I know it's not your focus, but if that music were available somehow I'd love to buy it... and of course I'm still looking forward to L2.

      • http://www.illusionlabs.com Anders

        You can download all of their songs from their website: organdonor dot se

      • http://www.illusionlabs.com Anders

        But I'll let them know that you were interested in buying their songs :P

  • Steve

    Game looks great and heh... what's the music in the trailer?!

    • http://www.illusionlabs.com Anders

      Music is composed by Organ Donor, we love their music! They did the music for the Sway trailer as well by the way!

      • Steve

        I did a quick iTunes search and couldn't that music or any other by them. I know it's not your focus, but if that music were available somehow I'd love to buy it... and of course I'm still looking forward to L2.

      • http://www.illusionlabs.com Anders

        You can download all of their songs from their website: organdonor dot se

      • http://www.illusionlabs.com Anders

        But I'll let them know that you were interested in buying their songs :P

  • Corey

    GREAT TRAILER!!!

  • Corey

    GREAT TRAILER!!!

  • Greg

    Is there OpenFeint? Plus+? Now THAT would sweeten the deal.

    • http://www.illusionlabs.com Anders

      No OF or p+ as we haven't decided which one to go with yet.

      • http://ipromocode.ru Sergey

        or Chillingo Crystal SDK

  • Greg

    Is there OpenFeint? Plus+? Now THAT would sweeten the deal.

    • http://www.illusionlabs.com Anders

      No OF or p+ as we haven't decided which one to go with yet.

      • http://ipromocode.ru Sergey

        or Chillingo Crystal SDK

  • http://iphone.ezone.com/ Ezone

    Nice work you guys - raising the bar once again! Everything from Illusion is always so polished, looking forward to getting this when it's released.

    (BTW - are Arn and the boys selling the 'anti-spam word' as an ad unit now? I had to type in 'IKEA'!)

    • Alex

      So did I!

  • http://iphone.ezone.com/ Ezone

    Nice work you guys - raising the bar once again! Everything from Illusion is always so polished, looking forward to getting this when it's released.

    (BTW - are Arn and the boys selling the 'anti-spam word' as an ad unit now? I had to type in 'IKEA'!)

    • Alex

      So did I!

  • Josh

    Labyrinth had the physics but Wooden Labyrinth 3D had the gameplay. This game will have to provide at least a random maze generator in order for me to buy it straight away.

  • Josh

    Labyrinth had the physics but Wooden Labyrinth 3D had the gameplay. This game will have to provide at least a random maze generator in order for me to buy it straight away.

  • Alex

    In the settings tab, will you be able to tweak sensitivity?

    • http://illusionlabs.com Anders

      No, sorry, it's set to "the real thing" by default.

  • Alex

    In the settings tab, will you be able to tweak sensitivity?

    • http://illusionlabs.com Anders

      No, sorry, it's set to "the real thing" by default.

  • http://ipromocode.ru Sergey

    Hello!

    I admin ipromocode.ru. Can you reserve for me 7 promocodes for review?

  • http://ipromocode.ru Sergey

    Hello!

    I admin ipromocode.ru. Can you reserve for me 7 promocodes for review?

  • http://illusionlabs.com Anders

    "Your comment is awaiting moderation. "

    Great.

  • Choose Plus+ :P

    What's multiplayer like?

  • Choose Plus+ :P

    What's multiplayer like?

  • http://illusionlabs.com Anders

    "Your comment is awaiting moderation. "

    Great.