Game Reviews

Illusia 2

Star onStar onStar onStar halfStar off
| Illusia 2
Illusia 2
| Illusia 2

Free games aren't uncommon on the App Store, but the fact that Gamevil's new sprawling 2D platformer-cum-RPG is basically a gift to its fans is astonishing.

Illusia 2, much like its predecessor, is absolutely jammed with content and brimming with passion from its flawed but boundlessly enthusiastic developers - and all for nothing.

The game is a facsimile of the classic RPGs from the 8- and 16-bit eras, albeit from a side-on rather than a top-down perspective.

It's extremely simple stuff at heart - choose from one of three classes (who are all very similar) pick up a quest from the friendly folk in your homestead, venture out into the woods or beyond, and start hacking relentlessly at any animal stupid enough to get in your way.

Button bash

There's absolutely no subtlety in Illusia 2's combat - it's just a relentless mash of the 'hit' button followed by a cascade of numbers spewing from the enemies' dying husks. Just keep on hitting.

While the battling is hardly revelatory, navigation is probably the biggest concern. The idea of sprinting about in simple platform game environments is fine but the on-screen controller makes pixel-perfect jumping very awkward.

If you double-tap in a direction you'll burst into a sprint, which is a nightmare when trying to line up difficult jumps. You'll rarely fall to your death, but it can make even the simplest of journeys inordinately tedious.

Use your Illusia

It's hard to dislike something this generous, though. The broken-English dialogue, the weird and wonderful enemies (Taekwondo bear instantly springs to mind), and the incomprehensible story are all quirks that add to Illusia 2's irrepressible charm.

It's the gaming equivalent of binging on Lucky Charms and Mountain Dew - just a constant sugar rush combined with a mild but slightly disconcerting headache.

If the game were being sold at a premium price it would be easier to pick at the control flaws and repetitive slashing, but given that this is basically a gift with no nasty in-app purchases or freemium cash-harvesting it should be applauded.

Illusia 2 might not be the slickest RPG on the iPhone, but it's definitely one of the most charming.

Illusia 2

Illusia 2 is a quirky and imperfect RPG that's worth far more than its free price tag