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iPhone Game Review: Hooga
      12/30/10 08:29 PM

iPhone Game Review: Hooga
Reviewed by ninjackid

Cavemen are usually depicted as a slow, grunting, hunchback-turkey-drumstick-eating people. But, this is nothing like our pal Hooga, who stars in this latest platformer from iQuillibruim studios and Chillingo.

Gameplay

Hooga's done and lost his girlfriend. Well, technically she's been cavegirl-napped. So what does our beloved caveman hero do? Why he sets off across 16 levels over various different environments to look for her and rescue her of course.



The levels are surprisingly large for an iOS platformer in Hooga, and the level design is brilliant. Most of the time you'll be jumping across dangerous pits, killing off various prehistoric enemies and climbing vines and ropes. The enemies are typical for platformers, although most of them act the same, which is a bit of a letdown for players who enjoy different enemies with different AI, however you'll be able to dispatch them by double a spin-jump attack, or throwing your surprisingly advanced arsenal of weapons (boomerangs, knives, etc.) which are given to you by a mysterious old man who pops up and disappears from and into nowhere. Or you can kill your enemies by eating a bean and (ahem) farting, which destroys all enemies around you. Fun!

Flowers are scattered through each level, and if you collect them all in a level, you get an achievement. With long and very deep levels, Hooga provides you with checkpoints, thank God! These checkpoints scattered throughout the levels, and if you die you will start from the last checkpoint. At the end of each level there is a boss fight against big monsters such as a giant scorpion and whatnot. Boss fights are fun and challenging but there isn?t a huge variety in boss selection though.



The game controls are fairly simple and not unlike most iOS platformers, with a virtual d-pad/joystick and buttons to throw projectiles and a button to jump. However, when it comes to combat and jumping precarious heights, they may feel a bit clunky for some. For example, to glide through the air for a few seconds the game tells you to tap and hold the jump button, and to perform a spin-jump attack simply double tap the jump button. But sometimes I found myself tapping and holding the jump button to glide, and it resulting in a spin-jump, or vice-versa. Simply put, some unnecessary deaths were caused by unresponsive jumping until I got accustomed to the controls.

However, although the game is not without flaws, this is still a very fun platformer with huge levels that take quite a while to beat.

Graphics & Sound

The graphics are extremely well-done! They are hand-drawn art and look great throughout. Lots of attention was paid to the backgrounds for each environment. Game goes smoothly most of the time, but the enemy animations look a bit stiff sometimes.

The sound is done fairly well, with soundtracks that fit each environment. iPod music, however, is not currently supported.



Conclusion

Hooga, overall, is a great platformer. The great level designs and the fun retro gameplay helps one overlook the game's minor flaws. The game is surprisingly deep with long levels and boss fights. It should be in any platformer fan?s collection.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: - 5 - Hand-drawn graphics look great all around.
Sound: - 4.5 - Sound is done well, with good sound effects and music that fits the overall theme. iPod music not supported.
Controls: - 3.5 - Controls are good, but it's easy to see where some could be frustrated by the way the jumping mechanic works, until one gets used to it.
Gameplay: - 5 - Huge, expansive levels for an iOS platformer make this a great platformer.

Playing Hints and Tips:

-When fighting a boss, try to stay away from it and just throw your weapons at it.

-Flowers can be hidden sometimes, be sure to look everywhere for them.



App Facts:

Developer: Chillingo
Release Date: Dec 2, 2010
Price: $0.99
Buy App: Hooga

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