Though they're head over heels in love, the road sure hasn't been easy for Jim and Mary. In order to try and escape Mary's disapproving family, the lovebirds tried to hide in Jim's house. Unfortunately, they were quickly followed by their pursuers. This left them no choice but to flee and go for plan B. In Jim Loves Mary 2, they head to a wild forest hoping to locate Jim's Uncle Woodward and ask for his help. Of course, that's where you come in. You'll have to help the pair run from bees, tame wolves, and dodge projectiles thrown by creatures hidden in trees. With 20 levels and a bonus stage to unlock, it's certainly going to be a wild ride.
If you've played the original game then you'll be no stranger to this sequel's control scheme. You'll still be in charge of both Jim and Mary's movements. Well, unless you enlist the help of a friend, family member or your own sweetheart to double the fun. Jim is assigned the A, W and D keys while Mary gets the four directional buttons. That being said, Mary has an extra action that allows her to reach places Jim can't. Unlike her boyfriend, she can crouch to avoid sticky situations. The forest's resident wolf also really likes her, which allows for a distraction while Jim hops about the stage toggling switches.
In terms of game play, the basic premise remains the same. Use the couple to clear a path in order to collect hearts and to reunite with each other. Considering the number of wacky new obstacles, this is easier said than done. The stages are even more intricate this time around, with plenty of opportunities to put your cooperative skills to the test. Sometimes it's all a matter of figuring out the correct order to move each character around. Other times, you'll need to use their special skills to open new areas or trigger an event. For the final stage, you will even need to time Jim and Mary's jumps right so that they can give each other a kiss over some nasty spikes. How's that for daring?
While the text clues pointing out new stage elements have been taken out completely, the level titles still give valuable hints. Paying attention to them will either give you an idea about the theme or end goal of the puzzle (ex. "The Platform") and alert you if something has changed its behavior (ex. "Scary Wolf" and "Cute Wolf"). Most of the time, it's easy to interpret the clues, though knowing what to do is different from being able to pull off the required actions skillfully.
We were big fans of the graphics for Jim Loves Mary then and we're big fans of the graphics for Jim Loves Mary 2 now. Nothing has changed much in terms of the overall look of the game, but the consistency in quality is pretty impressive. The addition of new baddies and the forest theme of the game blend in nicely with familiar background elements. The same types of fonts are used, which still blends in beautifully with the rest of the game. After all, why change what isn't broken?
The text for this title has improved drastically since the original. Sure, it's still not a hundred percent perfect but there are no glaring errors this time around. Mary's name isn't misspelled anymore, thankfully, and the story is easier to understand. With the text issues addressed, the game is as polished as it can get and there's nothing really left to complain about.
Jim Loves Mary 2 retains the charm of its predecessor and improves upon the game's cooperative nature. You can certainly play it on its own to keep it extra challenging but it's one of the few platformer-slash-puzzle games that you can really enjoy with a friend. The stages are well planned and are a bit trickier to master. Manage to collect all hearts as you finish the 20 main stages and you open up a bonus level. This bonus level tasks you to collect a hundred hearts scattered about the stage before time is up. Of course like all the levels before it, you'll need to meet up with your sweetheart to seal the deal. It's a nice little detail which we hope the developers can use as the basis for a set of mini games or a separate mode in future installments.
Basically, Jim Loves Mary 2 is a familiar trek into the same enjoyable world as the original and many other love games online. If you've already bad your fill of the puzzle platformer, then you may not be impressed with this sequel. On the other hand, if you're craving for more sweet escapes and cooperative switch triggering, then this is perfect for you. The story is easy enough to understand even if you skip the first game, however, if you find that you want to try your hand at mastering the original, there's always the handy link to Jim Loves Mary 1 in the main menu.