A physics game where the physics don’t work as intended is the equivalent of falling at the first hurdle, something that plagued the original One Hundred Ways. Now, the sequel, Two Hundred Ways is here. Have the five years between releases improved the physics in Two Hundred Ways, the physics-based puzzle sequel?

You can probably guess from the name that Two Hundred Ways is the direct sequel to One Hundred Ways. Whereas the original had 100 main levels – plus 33 bonus levels – Two Hundred Ways includes a round 200 levels.

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The gameplay is very similar; get the ball from the starting point to the flag at the end of the level. Along the way literally hundreds of obstacles will need to be dodged, jumped and sped past, in all manner of ways. Throughout the 200 levels there will be new challenges thrown at you until the very end. Some work well, some not so much, but Two Hundred Ways isn’t afraid to change things up to avoid going stale.

How you achieve success though has been revamped and improved to allow greater creative thinking. Previously, you were given a set number of tools with which to complete the level. In the sequel, you have a pool of cash to buy whichever items you would like, along with different grades based on how little or how much you spend. Use less of your kitty and you’ll achieve the higher grades.

If you played One Hundred Ways, you will already be preconditioned for Two Hundred Ways as it requires that same way of thinking. That is, sometimes the simplest way really is the easiest way. Two Hundred Ways will throw complex looking levels at you, all designed to disorient and confuse, but the solution rarely needs to be as intricate.

New features that are included in Two Hundred Ways come in the form of additional balls, hammers that will destroy your balls on contact, manoeuvrable cameras and extra verticality. Being able to control the camera is a godsend; Two Hundred Ways can throw up some confusing isometric views at times so being able to move the camera to a better viewing angle makes a huge difference. The extra balls help to keep things fresh by adding new mechanics in, as likewise does the verticality.

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However, the hammers don’t work nearly as well. One hammer will crush your ball if it is too slow which can easily be remedied, but there are others that require precision timing. This would not be a problem in itself, but there are various factors that cause them to be a major headache. Firstly, many are positioned towards the latter half of a level, where it is nigh on impossible to time them effectively when you release the ball. However, if you want the gold medals you can’t spend too much money on adding speed plates. Some of these levels can take nearly 30 seconds to complete and mistiming a hammer means starting from the beginning. There isn’t a way to speed-up time once you have solved a solution, so to fail on a random timing sequence is no fun at all.

Two Hundred Ways is very much a trial and error puzzle game, but these hammers and their timings add in unnecessary random elements to a game that is largely about planning in advance.

The controls can also be a bit fiddly, as it doesn’t feel like Two Hundred Ways utilises the controller as effectively as it could. Some button prompts, such as cycling through tools on the map using only the Y button, and the exit of the editing mode and delete button both being the same B button, will result in you deleting plenty of already positioned tools whilst playing.

Laying those tools can also be an issue at times. The thumbstick feels like it has a huge dead area where the tool doesn’t move until you are physically moving the stick as far as it can, and then it whizzes past where you intend to place it.

There are still plenty of other improvements in Two Hundred Ways, and these are across the board. The broken English from the first game is pretty much all but disappeared; there are only a handful of instances now, but it is far more legible on the whole. Though, there is an instance where it refers to the button prompts as mouse inputs rather than what it should be on the Xbox controller.

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Now included is a speedometer for your ball. Previously, all the calculations for speed and whether certain tools would then affect it were done behind the scenes without the player knowing. But with this speedometer, you know in advance whether the ball has enough momentum to take it past the fans or the magnets and avoid being sent in the wrong direction.

Also, and perhaps most crucially, the physics are the same each time you run a level! Previously, you could keep running a level in One Hundred Ways in the hope that you would achieve a different outcome, and you usually would. Now though, if it doesn’t work in Two Hundred Ways, that is down to your mistakes and can no longer be blamed on dodgy physics.

Coupled with varied environments and different musical tracks, Two Hundred Ways is a marked improvement over the original. Many of the new features work well and provide some variation, but there are still some – much like the game itself – which boil down to trial and error. Hopefully these can be ironed out even further in Three Hundred Ways, but good luck to the developers in creating 300 new levels.

Experience marble madness in Two Hundred Ways on Xbox

A physics game where the physics don’t work as intended is the equivalent of falling at the first hurdle, something that plagued the original One Hundred Ways. Now, the sequel, Two Hundred Ways is here. Have the five years between releases improved the physics in Two Hundred Ways, the physics-based puzzle sequel? You can probably guess from the name that Two Hundred Ways is the direct sequel to One Hundred Ways. Whereas the original had 100 main levels – plus 33 bonus levels – Two Hundred Ways includes a round 200 levels. The gameplay is very similar; get the ball…

Pros:

  • Much improved over the original
  • Many new quality of life features
  • New way of playing encourages creativity
  • Physics now work as intended

Cons:

  • Not all new obstacles work
  • Fiddly controls

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Sunlight Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5,Switch
  • Version reviewed - Xbox One on Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 19 Nov 2021
  • Launch price from - £12.49
TXH Score

3.5/5

Pros:

  • Much improved over the original
  • Many new quality of life features
  • New way of playing encourages creativity
  • Physics now work as intended

Cons:

  • Not all new obstacles work
  • Fiddly controls

Info:

  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game go to - Sunlight Games
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS4, PS5,Switch
  • Version reviewed - Xbox One on Xbox Series X
  • Release date - 19 Nov 2021
  • Launch price from - £12.49

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