Tilt to Live 2 is exactly the same as the original game. Tilt to Live 2 is completely different from the original game.
One Man Left's long-awaited follow-up to the 2010 original isn't so much a natural progression as it is a retooling.
What we have here is an alternative universe Tilt to Live, where the look and feel is nigh-on identical, but the tools you use are completely different.
The year dot
If that sounds like a criticism, let's be quick to assure you it's not.
Tilt to Live's dippy-divey gameplay was as near to a perfect showcase for the power of the accelerometer in your iPhone or iPad as anything at the time. It still is.
Similarly, its bright, clean visuals haven't aged at all. They're essentially unchanged here, though they've been sharpened and cleaned up a bit, and there's a nice blobby melding effect to the dots.
Indeed, with those water-tight controls forming a solid foundation, it was the weapons that were the star of the first game. By completely swapping these out for new and even more imaginative variants, One Man Left has completely revitalised the game.
Continuing the fight
But let's step back a little and discuss the core of the game for those who missed the original. Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous asks nothing more of you than to dodge the red dots that appear on-screen in various formations by tilting your device to move your little craft.
Well, it asks a little more of you than that. You also need to take the fight to these dots by flying into the floating single-use weapon bubbles that drift around the screen.
As with the original, this is where Tilt to Live 2's real heart lies. These weapons are wonderful, ranging from a Darth Maul-inspired double-lightsaber (Tilt to Slash-like-a-Sith-lord) to a devastating comet that can be redirected after launch like a Subbuteo ball.
There are additional unlockable weapons that steadily increase your attacking options the more you play.
Unlock and load
How you unlock these weapons is one of the subtle but appreciable changes the developer has made. Now you can level-up by fulfilling various bonus tasks, or 'tricks', such as performing certain combinations of moves or scoring a set number of points.
These conditions constantly refresh in batches of three as you complete them, giving you a constant nudge to try new things and achieve certain milestones beyond topping the high score table.
It's a mechanic borrowed from numerous endless-runners and other casual games that have populated the App Store since the launch of the original, but it's no less effective at adding variety to an inherently repetitive game.
Bossing you around
There are now bosses to tackle, when you hit certain points in the game. These involve tight manoeuvring in confined areas, as well as nipping in to hit weak-point targets with the snout of your ship.
In truth, these aren't the most thrilling or memorable affairs, but they do at least break up the relentless gameplay and lend a feeling of progression and reward.
There are also periodic timed bombs that materialise from time to time, and which can be disarmed in a similar way to the bosses. You also get missiles that warp in and threaten to spike you.
Dying, meanwhile, isn't necessarily the end this time around. There's the possibility of a second chance, or at least a hefty score boost, by steering your careening hunk of wreckage towards a target.
There are a couple more minor technical points to note. For example, the game now takes full advantage of the widescreen displays on modern iPhones rather than sitting in a 3:2 box, so the arena is noticeably stretched.
We would have appreciated the inclusion of a cloud save system so we could continue our game from iPhone to iPad and back again, but this is still a pretty rare inclusion these days. We also miss the extra space afforded by the iPad-specific HD version of the original.
All in all, though, Tilt to Live 2: Redonkulous is a fine sequel. Somewhat unusually, it complements the first game rather than outright replacing it, and going back to the original and playing it alongside this makes you realise that it was even better than we gave it credit for.
So, go on. Give it another tilt.
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