The Inferno

the inferno splash screen
Players:
1
Multiplayer:No
AI:Yes
Universal App:Yes (there is a single app which works on both iPhone and iPad in HD)
Purchase for iPhone:Use link below to purchase universal app
Purchase for iPad:

Price: Free
User rating:
GD Star Rating
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The Inferno, 5.6 out of 10 based on 7 ratings

The Inferno is a retro top-down dungeon crawler based on Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. Developed back in 2009 for iPhone, it hasn’t been updated for iPad. Consequently, it runs without a hitch on iPad, but lacks the HD quality we’ve come to expect in iPad games. According to the developers, The Inferno is “akin to the World’s Hardest Game in a Diablo setting“.

the inferno splash screen

GAMEPLAY

You play as Dante, traveling to the depths of hell to rescue his murdered lover, Beatrice. In order to find and save Beatrice, Dante must navigate through five of the nine circles of hell and reach her before her final judgement. If you do not complete the game within 4 hours, Beatrice will be damned forever. Dante’s only help in this diabolical quest is his ever-present guide Virgil, who will advise and support him through his perilous journey.

the-inferno interface

As Dante traverses the levels of each circle of hell, he must save the souls of the damned in order to activate the exit portal. Thankfully, there are checkpoints throughout each level which means when Dante dies, you won’t have to start from scratch. Dante, under your control, will die a lot – literally hundreds of times. To highlight this, the game keeps a running tally of how many times he dies, and Lucifer will taunt you about your incompetence.

the-inferno taunts

To help Dante survive the horrors of hell, there are occasional power-ups available, such as the Shield of Faith which gives extra protection, and Icarus Wings granting speed. These buffs will help you through some of the most brutal levels of the game, but their placement is very limited, making this game no walk in the park.

the inferno gameplay

IMPLEMENTATION

Throughout the game, the atmospheric use of scenery, sound effects and background music makes the experience immersive. Conversational moments with both Virgil and the different bosses keeps the story flowing, and prevents the game from becoming a mindless dungeon crawl. The story features two very different endings, depending on how long you took to complete the game. Unfortunately, there’s no multiplayer nor Game Center integration and the viewing aspect does not rotate when you flip the screen.

the inferno gameplay

Despite the original nine circles of hell in Dante’s Inferno, this interpretation focuses on only five of those circles, each with an average of 25 levels, giving you a total of 121 levels to play. Aficionados of Dante’s original work will recognise the five circles that were chosen: Limbo, The Plains of Gluttony, The Fire Pits, The Forest of Suicides and Cocytus.

the inferno lucifer

Perhaps the developers left out the more graphic circles of hell, in order to make the game suited to all ages. Or maybe they intended to add the remaining four circles of hell as IAP later. Whichever way, it seems development on The Inferno has been discontinued. I reached out to the developers, asking if further updates would be forthcoming, but received no response.

VERDICT

7/10 Although this interpretation of Dante’s most famous work isn’t accurate, the attention to detail and variety of levels will keep you hooked. Whilst the app isn’t available in HD, it does scale better than many iPhone-only games. Whether you’re a fan of Dante’s Inferno or you just enjoy playing retro dungeon crawls, The Inferno is hellaciously good fun.