At a time when gaming seems to be moving ever closer to simulating reality (remotes letting us simulate the swing of a golf club, trigger buttons on controllers delivering the feel of modern warfare) it's refreshing to encounter a series that's headed in the complete opposite direction.
Labyrinth 2 morphs that ever-so simplistic game of balsa wood and a metal ball into something equally as real: fun.
Big bright balls
This Labyrinth sequel rolls in with sleeker menus, more modes, and user-created content that really does push boundaries. There's a revolving door or two, laser beams that block your path, as well as canons that fire off balls intent on smashing yours into pieces. All in all, Labyrinth 2 is far more game savvy than its humble forerunner.
If you're worried that such meddling messes too much with the formula, you need not. The goal remains the same: guide your ball with tips and tilts of your handset to the finish hole whilst avoiding the hazards aplenty that block your path.
Moving forward is simply a case of getting to your goal as quickly as you can but, like its predecessor, the stages come in set packs, each one with a level of difficulty prescribed so you can tailor the experience to meet your respective talents.
Spice up your life
While familiar, it's the application of the levels themselves that differs rather dramatically from the original, the 3D slant given to the game's visuals merely icing on the cake. Of greater importance are the various interactive obstacles that form the backbone of your challenge – switches that have to be triggered in a set order, bright red lasers that light up the screen as well as acting as walls, pinball-style bumpers, magnets and fans all pushing and pulling you in different directions and spicing up play somewhat.
There are a few added helping hands along the way to keep you going. Save points dotted around the levels mean that falling through a hole in the ground or being pulverised mid-stage need not necessarily result in a trip back to the beginning. Contraptions that miniaturise your ball to reach new areas and multiple balls enable you to trigger switches with one sphere while sneaking through the doors they open with the other.
Make your own maze
The whole thing is just a little more complex, a little more ambitious than its predecessor – a point all the more powerful by scores of user-created levels. They're made via an editor section of the game's official site, sadly not compatible with Internet Explorer or native on your device.
The original game was a wondrous challenge all of its own and this follow-up calls forth gaming staples to deliver a top quality puzzler that is so packed it manages to fill in holes that didn't even exist in the first title.
The complete package, Labyrinth 2 deserves a place at the top table of iPhone gaming, a first port of call for all puzzle enthusiasts looking to see the kind of tricks their new piece of kit can pull off.