The Inferno is the latest game from Xpressed, the creators of the fan favorite Uniwar. Unlike Uniwar (an excellent turn-based strategy game), The Inferno can be best described as an Action-Puzzle game, with a strong emphasis on "action."
Based on "The Divine Comedy," The Inferno has you playing as Dante, a hapless dude whose main squeeze has been sent to be with all the world's laywers and cats in a little place called Hell.
There are 121 levels in The Inferno, and these levels are divided between 5 distinct areas (or circles of Hell, if you will). Progression through these levels is made by collecting each of the blue light orbs scattered about the levels, which then unlocks an exit gate that leads to the next area.
As Dante dares to go further into the depths of Hell, the challenges he will have to face become more difficult. While the earliest levels in The Inferno will throw nothing more than a few measly fireballs and collapsing platforms at Dante, later levels will test the player with traps that spout poison or lava, bats that hone in on Dante in a quest for blood, and really big fire-snake monsters.
As the challenges grow more difficult, the length of each individual level in The Inferno increases as well. Eventually, the average level length will become so long that even the most skilled of players will find it nearly impossible to make it through one without dying once.
In a wise decision by The Inferno's developers, longer levels in the game host a generous number of checkpoints which can be activated as many times as a player needs by merely stepping into the square of the level grid that hosts them.
The Inferno is a bit unique in that it only gives players four hours to complete all of its 121 levels. In my experience with the game, that was plenty of time, but something about seeing that clock ticking down with every moment that I spent contemplating the best way to tackle a particular challenge really added a sense of tension that enriched the game for me.
Another unique feature of The Inferno is that it keeps a total tally of your deaths in the top-left corner of the screen. Quite frankly, this feature wound up being more embarrassing than anything for me, as I totally got my butt handed to me by some rogue fireballs on more than occasion. Nonetheless, I can appreciate this facet of the UI for what it means for truly hardcore players.
I'm sure that the competition to beat the game in the shortest amount of time and with the lowest number of deaths could be fierce, but some sort of leaderboard component should certainly be implemented in order to encourage that competitive spirit amongst the community.
For what it's worth, I found The Inferno to be a short but entirely enjoyable little top-down action game. The largely timing-based puzzles aren't too mentally taxing and keep the core of the gameplay at a fairly fast pace.
App Store Link: The Inferno, $0.99