The papers always used to say games were a bad influence when I was growing up – all guns, race cars, and other kinds of bad influences. They rot your brain, they'd say. Either that or they you turn into a gun-wielding maniac. You're a lot safer on the iPhone, of course. There's little to fear from guiding a bumble bee around a maze, picking up flowers and strawberries along the way.
Dizzy Bee 2 pollinates iPhone with a sequel that delivers action without violence, fun without frustration. It's essentially more of the same (did you catch our Dizzy Bee iPhone review first time around?), but comes with everything a sequel should: namely, more levels.
Play has basically been left untouched in the transition and your priority remains getting our busy bee to the exit with as many flowers and pieces of fruit as you can. This time around fruit only becomes active when touched, latching on to our fuzzy friend and following him wherever you tip him. The trick here is to try and get every piece of fruit to the exit in one go.
But that's not your only concern; Dizzy Bee 2 is a game that rates you in three areas. While your ability to get as much of the fruit as you can to the exit is key to your success, the number of flowers that float around the level you pick up is also rated, as is the time between your fruit deposits. Chains are the aim here, with the target being to drop off all of the fruit in one go.
Much of this is optional, though. It's possible to complete a level just by dropping off one of the fruit and ignoring any notion of chains or flowers completely. This essentially gives Dizzy Bee 2 its own flexible difficulty level. Those who just want to skim through, enjoying the game but doing as little as possible, can. But those who want top ratings in all three areas can also indulge themselves, popping in and out of completed stages at will, going back and forth until they've done as best as they can.
And, believe me, while Dizzy Bee 2 is simple to control, it's very difficult to master. Among the flowers, fruits and beastly monsters, there are also a number of objects that can get in the way. Some early traps include nets that hold you for a few seconds at a time and monsters that encase you or your fruit for a similar period. Interestingly enough, they can also be used to swallow up any threats, allowing you to tip your phone without worrying about any movement from the enemy.
Making the most use of all these elements is a question of repeated play. Beyond the first few opening levels, getting anything but the bare minimum from your play through is a question of dedication, plus skill, plus patience, plus luck. But then again, what successful game doesn't rely on most, if not all, of these elements?
It's when the challenge is ramped up and you find yourself still playing, still tipping that bee around the screen, that it'll occur to you just what iPhone gems both Dizzy Bee 2 and its predecessor are. There's an argument to suggest that some kind of twist could have been added to distance the two games, but it's a fairly pedantic point – Dizzy Bee 2 is more of the same for those who loved the original and a brilliant introduction to accelerometer-gaming at its best for those who never had the chance.