Between the Worlds II – The Pyramid feels like an unfinished product
Between the Worlds II places you in the role of a detective, bringing your partner along for the ride as you try to solve the case of a missing alchemist. Using the alchemist’s letters and treasures along the way, you’ll play through a variety of different gameplay types in Between the Worlds II, but none of them are that much fun.
The biggest problem with Between the Worlds II – The Pyramid is its difficulty. Hotspots aren’t marked with sparkles, even when playing on the easiest difficulty setting (there are three, but the specifics of each aren’t given details within the menu), and you’ll find yourself repeatedly tapping on your assistant’s picture for some sort of text clue as to what to do next. The game lacks greatly in in-game instructions, telling you to simply go to a different environment and then leaving you on your own to figure out the rest. The hint system recharges fairly quickly, but if you’re not in the right location already, it simply doesn’t function.
Adding insult to injury, the game will frequently transport you automatically from one environment to the next, never telling you when it’s up to you to find the next exit or door, so when you are given freedom of movement, it’s a confusing scenario at best. And if you happen to find a portal to another area but accidentally travel backwards, it can be even more difficult to figure out how to get back to where you were, leaving you to hover over every square inch of your screen just to find the sparkles that indicate you can change location.
While some of the game’s puzzles are easy to complete (these puzzles range from jigsaw puzzles to pattern recognition puzzles and more), instances of traditional hidden object scenes (finding items on lists) come with horrible click recognition, forcing you to click two or three times on the same object before the game recognizes that you’ve done so. The lack of readily available in-game instructions hurts the game here as well, as items may be hidden behind clouds (as one example), but you’re never told how to remove those clouds until you pester your assistant to give you a hint.
Technically, Between the Worlds II lacks in polish and comes with inconsistent graphics that are jarring to say the least. While the game’s cutscenes are incredibly sharp and crisp (one of the game’s few highlights), the quality of the playable environments is hit or miss, with muddy, blurry graphics being mixed with some bright, detailed pieces. It’s as though two different teams were in charge of the game’s artwork, but they didn’t compare notes before throwing everything into the game.
Putting it simply, Between the Worlds II: The Pyramid feels unfinished. For every puzzle or cutscene that works as intended, there are even more elements that simply don’t, leaving you confused or frustrated. While the game’s ability to transport you to different worlds or themed areas shows off the potential of the experience, the features that count most – a useful hint system, automatically appearing in-game instructions and an intuitive interface – are almost entirely lacking, making this game one to avoid.