There's always a risk when you enter into a sequel that it'll end up too much like the original. Nobody wants to pay for the same game twice, after all. Likewise, there's always a chance that the magic is lost completely, distancing the sequel from its predecessor so much that it loses its spark and makes the whole thing a massive disappointment.
It's not without a touch of astonishment that I say that newtonica2 has achieved the impossible. This is a game serving up an entirely different dish from the original, but retaining the style, flair and playability that made Fieldsystem's first iPhone foray such a big draw. Its sphere-turning game play is gone and yet the minimalist, funky style remains.
This time, instead of twisting a sphere to pick up falling meteors, the sphere pulses energy when touched. The aim is to help move a space bird towards its goal: a swirly blue space 'warp hole'. Our fluffy friend cannot move of his own volition, drifting through space when the sphere's pulses hit him.
The trick is to time the touch of the sphere (or, indeed, as the stages pass, spheres) so that its pulses make best use of the other objects on the screen.
For example, sometimes the smiley-faced circles move gently from left to right or up and down, making it imperative that your pulses cause the chick to miss contact with them if they block your path. On the other hand, it can be wise to aim directly for them, positively bouncing the bird off their sides and cannoning him into the warp with gusto.
As you might expect, each of the 36 stages poses a different problem. Sometimes there are numerous ways to reach your goal with scores of obstacles in the way. Often it's just a case of angles, though, with the sphere being placed on a sliding scale that enables you to move its position before you touch it.
There are also bonus space doughnuts placed in tricky little spots that can be picked up en route, ensuring replays aplenty for completion enthusiasts.
Even if you're just happy to fly through, newtonica2 is the kind of brain teaser that can absorb you for hours at a time. It's also coupled by some of the best presentation and music you'll see anywhere.
Simply sitting on the menu screen (which, incidentally, allows you to play any of the levels from the word go) is a treat in itself, with the game's almost moody and haunting synthesised tones making the experience feel like a million dollars rather than the 59p/ $0.99 it currently retails for on the App Store.
On a device as flashy as iPhone, presentation is everything and Fieldsystem's continued efforts to raise the bar in this area should not be trivialised.
However, it also helps when the game you're dressing up happens to be one of the system's best. newtonica2 is a flagship title for the iPhone: sleek, smart, stylish, clever, and most importantly, addictive. Chances are, any sequel will look nothing like this, but I for one won't be clamouring to move on from this high flying beauty anytime soon.