Inferno review

Inferno is a Facebook game from Russian developer Playflock. It’s available now on the social network for anyone to play, and has recently been receiving some advertising via Facebook’s sidebar module.

Inferno is a role-playing game that is very similar to Playflock’s other release Insanity (which we reviewed here) — it’s not quite enough to call the two games “reskins” of each other, but they certainly have a huge amount in common.

Inferno

Inferno takes place in a “dark fantasy” world in which the player takes on the role of a male or female warrior attempting to deal with the tides of undead blighting the lands. Gameplay unfolds in a number of different components — completing simple non-interactive “jobs” by clicking on a “perform” button until energy expires; battling monsters by clicking on them in the hope that their hit points bar expires before the player’s does; taking over local buildings in order to guarantee income from them; battling immensely strong “boss” monsters; and fighting other players in the Arena.

Screen Shot 2013-03-14 at 8.49.28 AMCompleting most tasks rewards the player with experience points, items and in-game currency. There are three in-game currencies in Inferno, each of which is used for various things. “Gold” acts as the hard currency, and may be used to unlock content before fulfilling its prerequisites as well as restoring one of the game’s two energy gauges (one for performing jobs, one for engaging in combat against monsters). Silver, meanwhile, is acquired by inviting friends, and is used to upgrade certain items or player statistics. The main soft currency, which is often rewarded for completing quests or slaying monsters, is bronze. This is most commonly used to purchase new equipment for the player character, but may also be spent on new backgrounds for their profile page and upgrades to certain statistics.

Inferno has some solid ideas at its core, but its flawed execution prevents the game from exhibiting its full potential. One issue is that it’s never really very clear what the player is supposed to be doing. The game does feature an initial tutorial, but much like the one seen in Insanity, it doesn’t really tell the player much about what they’re actually supposed to be aiming for or what their objectives are. The game doesn’t make any real efforts to try and tell a story, so for the most part it feels like a game where you click on things and gain experience for the sake of it rather than for any particular purpose. Social features also seem somewhat limited to little more than battling other players and inviting friends to earn silver.

Inferno

That said, it is actually somewhat difficult to tell if the game is trying to explain anything to the player, largely because the vast majority of the English-language text appears to be completely missing — see the screenshot above. Quest text is completely absent, making it impossible to determine what short-term objectives are, and all descriptive text for monsters and locations appears to be missing, too. This doesn’t appear to be a font issue, as other text in the game appears just find — it’s just the content is missing in many places. Unfortunately, in a role-playing game like this, text is extremely important, so this major flaw makes the game almost completely unplayable at this juncture. Once the text issue is sorted out, Inferno will, like Insanity, be a competent if somewhat directionless role-playing game that could do with a bit more fleshing out to be truly enjoyable.

We’re yet to retrieve any detailed user statistics from Inferno, but check back shortly to follow its progress with AppData, our traffic tracking service for social games and developers.

Wait

Missing text currently makes this all but unplayable, but once that is fixed it will be a competent, if somewhat directionless Facebook-based RPG.

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