Max Injury 2 Review
It’s amazing what a single update can do. In the process of reviewing Max Injury 2, a major update came out and transformed a game that was almost unplayable into a fun title. While why the developers initially let such a substandard product be released is confusing, Max Injury 2 has become a decent timewaster for your iPhone.
When downloading the old version, there were numerous warnings about bugs, crashes and major control issues that would be dealt with “in the future.” These all came into play when trying to navigate the games 40-plus levels.
The main goal in Max Injury 2 is to fling a dummy, the titular Max, into as many obstacles, weapons and general pain-inducing scenarios as possible for maximum points. Sometimes the goal is as simple as earning a base number of points, while other times it’s about navigating poor Max through a gauntlet of obstacles.
Moving Max is as simple as swiping across him in the speed and direction you want him to fly, then tweaking his trajectory by tilting your iPhone. At least, it is now. In the initial release, moving Max was literally a gamble, often either not moving at all or not going in the direction you wanted him to. Thankfull it’s been improved, but it’s not perfect. The developers also added the ability to fling Max by touching him to pick him up, and whipping him anywhere you like. This addition has made the puzzles much more navigable.
To get the highest score, make Max hurt more. It’s that simple. Dropping him from higher heights, into bombs, boxing gloves, into the path of a shotgun… anything. You are given a set number of “swipes” (number of times you can swipe at or fling Max), and the more swipes you have at the end, the higher the bonus. Depending on your score, you’ll get a medal and possibly even an OpenFeint achievement and place on the leaderboard.
The level design ranges from simple to maddeningly difficult, and gets tough quite early on. After the extensive tutorial you’re left on your own, and I was stumped by level four. While you are able to skip a level if you wish – a great move – it’s annoying to leave those levels unfinished. But the real kicker is that, after the update, those levels changed dramatically. The aforementioned level four became an entirely new level, suggesting that the designers themselves aren’t totally happy with the layouts they made. There are some great standout levels; a personal fave is “Hotfoot” where you have to move Max along a series of floating flamethrowers to get to the finish line, while inflicting enough damage to beat the minimum score.
Another nice touch is the ability to take a face from one of your photos and paste it on Max like a mask. It’s hard to see it, since it’s small and Max is usually seen from the side, but the sentiment is there. It’s a shame, then, that you’d never know how to find it until you touch the “Play J” icon on the menu. After that, your Camera Roll selector menu will pop up, and ask you to pick a photo and scale it. The first three times I attempted to use this the game crashed. After the update, the developers noted in the changes that they knew about this game-ending bug, but left it in and released it anyway.
As kind of a bit of sour finish, there is a tantalizing level editor, but you have to buy it separately from the game itself. This is one of the most maddening things in games: not actually getting a whole product but being nickel and dimed. This was bad in Raycatcher, and it’s bad in Max Injury 2 too.
But worst of all, even after all these tweaks and changes, Max Injury 2 doesn’t feel particularly special. Yes, it’s become (or is that becoming?) a good-quality title. The fact that developers can make so many mistakes and charge for a product that is so glaringly incomplete should anger consumers. As the people who pay real hard-earned money – whatever the amount – we should expect to get a reasonably complete item, not a beta test. I suspect further updates for Max Injury 2 will make things even better, but it’s shocking how much had to be fixed the first time around.