The original Tilt To Live was an abstract and creative take on top-down shooters, where your single arrow had to avoid increasingly aggressive red dots. By triggering onscreen explosions and other power-ups, you had a fighting chance at survival. Tilt To Live 2: Redonuklous is not as absurd as the title suggests– it’s more of the same quirky action, with only minor improvements.
Like the original, Tilt To Live 2 features upbeat big-band music (or shredding rock guitars in the ultra-hard mode), which makes you want to swing your iOS device around wildly with the beat. The sequel also shares the original game’s cheeky achievement descriptions, which add some humor to what would otherwise be ordinary gameplay benchmarks.
With the humor and sound design intact, we were hoping for a bit more when it comes to the main gameplay. Tilt To Live 2 is still a high-score game, with certain special abilities unlocking only after you hit select achievements. As a result, you’ll play through the early waves again and again, making slight progress only after a great deal of repetition.
Tilt To Live 2 does introduce random boss battles and new target-based objectives, like bombs. For these encounters, you’ll have to steer your arrow into a green target, hitting all of them to blow up your objectives. This mechanic is a lot of fun, but it might have worked better as a standalone series of skill challenges.
In fact, Tilt To Live 2 doesn’t feel like it’s evolved much since the original was released in 2010. Sequels like Plants vs Zombies 2 have shown that a free-to-play model with lots of varied levels (and optional payment for power-ups) can be successful on the App Store. Tilt To Live 2 is set at a moderate price point, and while it doesn’t require any in-app purchases, the two modes and handful of new power-ups feel underwhelming. Even the more creative power-ups, like a dual-wielded lightsaber straight from The Phantom Menace (complete with John Williams-esque soundtrack), are just not worth the full price of the app.
If you loved the original Tilt To Live as much as we did, by all means, take a chance on this sequel. However, we’d like to see a lot more interesting and varied content before we can agree with the “redonkulous” part of the title. Perhaps for the next update, something truly “ginormous” should be expected.