Let’s start by giving you a link to our earlier review of Perfect Balance: Harmony, because ttursas’ latest addition to the family in Perfect Balance: Inferno is essentially the same game. And that’s hardly a bad thing.
With a few thematic changes, some new pieces and a ramped up difficulty level, Inferno certainly brings enough fresh content to satisfy fans of the franchise.
Yes, that is a bedroom in the background… Ladies?
The concept of Perfect Balance is so basic, and works so well, that to make drastic changes to the franchise would otherwise mess up a well-executed game. Just place the pieces on the board without letting them fall over.
To say Harmony was hard would be an understatement, but ttursas went ahead and jacked up the difficulty level on Inferno, anyway. All of the skills and tricks you learned toward the end of Harmony, like setting multiple pieces in motion to fill gaps, will come into play right away. There are also new pieces, such as heavy blocks with five times the mass of normal pieces, sawblade platforms that rotate and propeller platforms that swivel around the center. Factoring in physics is more important than ever.
And like its name would suggest, Inferno is thematically a bit darker than Harmony. The first wallpaper is just plain weird, though–it’s a picture of a bedroom… Yeah, we’re not so sure what’s going on there. Inferno implies heat, but that’s definitely not the heat we were expecting. The next wallpaper is a little more in line with what we thought–a pile of bones with some roaches crawling around.
But having a darker theme becomes problematic when playing in bright lights or outdoors, like we did in our initial playthrough in the park the other day. You just can’t see anything. Play this one on the subway, not the bus.
To say that this game is a “Must Have” is debatable, as it’s basically the same game as before. A franchise like this would most definitely benefit from the in-game micropayments coming in 3.0, as being able to add levels on the fly would help keep the momentum of a game going.
Inferno will certainly quench the thirst for anyone who’s already beat Harmony. But as a standalone, it might be a little harder to get into a rhythm for those new to the franchise. That said, anyone interested in Inferno should start with Harmony first. They’ll be adding Inferno soon enough.