Thanks to Ratalaika Games for the review code
Title: Reed 2
Release Date: 05/05/2020
As noted in my review of Reed Remastered, that game’s remaster job took from this sequel, meaning that as a result, Reed 2 looks almost exactly the same as the remastered version of Reed in a lot of ways: the same kind of backgrounds, identical sprites, and the same color palette. The music is also the same sort of generic synth as before, and equally as forgettable, leaving not much to talk about.
Just like the first game, Reed 2 tasks the player with guiding a cat to the exit of some fast-paced stages, dodging enemies and hazards along the way. Literally every aspect I noted in Reed 1 applies to 2 as well, save for the way you open the exit: instead of collecting one big cube to open the door up, you now must collect several smaller cubes. This doesn’t make much of a difference though, since the stages are still of similar length as stages from the first.
Unfortunately, while this more of the sameness might be fine if Reed 2 continued the solid level design from the original Reed or expanded upon it, Reed 2′s levels are far, far less fun to play. Right from the getgo the difficulty level is increased from the original game, with stages in 2 being harder than even the final levels of Reed Remastered. Usually it’s due to an increase in hazards, trickier platforming, or more often than I wanted to see, leaps of faith along with trial and error. The stages are still short, but it feels like that the developers wanted to try and make the sequel longer without adding a bunch of extra levels or secrets, so they just jacked the difficulty a bit higher and made the game more frustrating.
When a game as fast-paced and simplistic as Reed has to resort to a difficulty spike to pad things out, (instead of you know, more levels or fun new ideas) then that just makes the whole experience unfun. Around the 15th level or so I was ready to throw in the towel, unlike the first game where I actually bothered to clear 45 of the 50 or so levels that one had.
Just the fact that everything feels so samey yet worse at the same time, just makes Reed 2 not a fun platformer at all. Take any fun aspect or good level design the first game had, and throw that out the window for a more frustrating experience, and you have the sequel. Literally the only praise I can give this game comes from how much better the secrets are hidden, since they’re a lot tougher to find than in the original game, and actually feel like proper secrets. Sadly, there’s not much else to say.
In conclusion, Reed 2 feels like more of the same, and while that’s not always a bad thing to see in a sequel, I can’t help but feel that Reed 2 tries too much to make things harder than the first for no reason, and outside of an objective change in each of the stages, the whole experience feels almost as if I’m playing bonus levels of Reed Remastered that are terrible. Sure, the controls and other aspects are still solid, but when the level design is a step backwards instead of forwards, I can’t call Reed 2 a good sequel at all, and even using the term “Sequel” feels too generous here.
I give Reed 2 a 4 out of 10.