If you’ve played the first Extreme Hangman game, then you know exactly what to expect with Extreme Hangman 2. While the word categories and visuals may have changed a bit, the core gameplay remains exactly the same. Though there is little different between the two games, that doesn’t necessarily detract from what Extreme Hangman 2 has to offer — it's still a fun and thoroughly enjoyable word puzzle game.
There are two game modes available in Extreme Hangman 2, the first of which is called Single Play. In this mode, you will choose from one of 14 categories of words ranging from music to insects to Nobel winners, and then you will begin choosing letters to solve the word that the game has selected for you to figure out. The available letters are laid out on the bottom screen while the top screen features the row of blank spaces that will potentially be filled in with the letters that you choose. Also on the top screen is an animation of a stick figure who is trying his hardest to survive whatever situation he may be stuck in. There are 10 different animations for the stick figure to survive, some featuring zombie battles and others featuring the classic gallows, but all of them are undeniably entertaining in a morbid sort of way. Figure out the word in six guesses or less and you’ve won, or don’t figure it out and watch your stick figure suffer a gruesome fate. In each round you will be given the opportunity to use a certain amount of hints. These hints give you one correct letter in your chosen word, but they also take away from your remaining guesses. At the end of each game you will be shown a list of statistics that include all of the games that you’ve played and tell you how you rank as a hangman player. It is interesting to see how well (or poorly) you are doing, and part of the challenge is keeping those statistics on the up.
The second game mode is called Challenge Mode. While the gameplay works in the exact same way as Single Play, Challenge Mode is a multiplayer version that allows you to play against an opponent locally. In this mode, you and your opponent actually get to choose the words that each other must solve. The first person to correctly guess three of their opponent’s words is the winner. While it may be incredibly simple and would have been nice with a wireless multiplayer available, Challenge Mode makes the game more engaging and playable between friends and family.
Extreme Hangman 2 can be controlled using either the hard buttons, or the DSi’s touch screen. While both methods of control are just as effective as the other, selecting which letters you want to use tends to be more convenient using the touch screen input. Rather than arrowing your way through all 26 letters of the alphabet, simply tapping the one you wish to choose is pretty handy.
As mentioned before, there are multiple themes that you can choose from to alter the appearance of this game. While all four of these themes differ in colour and appearance, they all have the same hand-drawn look to them. The hand-drawn look is perfect for this game as it reflects the idea of actually playing on a chalkboard or a piece of paper.
Just like the visuals, the audio reflects the light-heart and fun mood of this game. Though there is only one song and it can get a bit repetitive, it is catchy enough to listen to over and over again.
While there are some differences between Extreme Hangman 2 and the first game in the series, such as the ability to change between four different graphical themes and the new word categories, the one thing that stayed exactly the same are the load times. For a game like this that is meant for quick pick-up-and-play action, lengthy load times are an absolute travesty. While the load times may only last for about five or seven seconds, this can feel like an eternity while sitting on a bus or waiting at the doctor’s office.
While Extreme Hangman 2 doesn’t really do anything wrong, it is difficult to say whether or not it is an improvement over its predecessor. The appearance has changed and there are new word categories, but the core gameplay remains exactly the same. If you weren’t convinced to purchase the first game, then there isn’t much here to change your opinion. Priced at only 200 Points, however, this is a great game for any fans of word puzzles who are looking to kill some time.