And there upon the rainbow is the answer to a never-ending story.
Five minutes into Robot Unicorn Attack 2, and we questioned whether this game was a sequel. Upon first glance, it appeared to be a mere extension of the already stellar original, but with fancier backgrounds and new music that, while entertaining in its own right, is a far cry from Erasure's Always, the magical tune that helped catapult the prequel to greatness.
It only took several additional minutes, though, to realize this title is without question superior to its predecessor, and this goes far beyond spiffy graphics. There's a considerable amount of depth and excitement to go along with the user-friendly controls and parkour-style platforming. The goal of seeing how far you can guide a magical unicorn through a dreamy world filled with mystery remains front and center, but now there are upgrades to unlock, a leveling system, an online challenge mode and multiple songs available for $0.99, including not just Always, but also Limahl's Never Ending Story, the enchanting song from the beloved 1984 film, The Never Ending Story; if we were made of max, we would have instantly melted all over the iPad.
Sure, a buck per song may seem like a lot, but the game was released free-of-charge, which is the proverbial icing on the cake. The bulk of your enjoyment, of course, will come from playing this outstanding effort, tapping the left side of the screen to jump and the right to dash through objects as the unicorn gallops and flies across the infinite track. Its doom is imminent, of course, but that's where you come in, doing your best to keep the mythical animal traveling as far as possible with three chances/wishes per round. You'll plow through crystals, pick up collectibles and even take down Solar Beam-spewing giants while Leviathan Seahorses and Ice Owls fill up the screen. Yes, nothing like the first game.
The more you play, the more achievements you earn, which ties into a new store that contains a variety of upgrades designed to enhance the unicorn's abilities, from wings that allow it to fly to a horn that lets it dash for longer periods of time. You'll even be able to equip Boosters to receive an extra jump, or a magnet that inhales goodies, giving you one less thing to worry about.
As for the online functionality, the game asks you to choose between Team Rainbow and Team Inferno. Once you pick a side, you play the game normally to help the team win daily prizes; simple and superb.
Bottom line, Robot Unicorn Attack 2 is a wonderful follow-up and a textbook example of how sequels should be done. The load times could be shorter and we would have preferred paying $0.99-$1.99 to download it with a variety of songs, but as is, you can't allow those minor complaints to tarnish an otherwise stellar smartphone and tablet game. Erasure will be with you, always.
Review code provided by Adult Swim.
What's Hot:Enchanting worlds to explore, simple-to-grasp controls, multiple songs to unlock, leveling system, neat online team mode, boosters, numerous unlockable goodies.
What's Not:Long load times, you buy the music.