There are a lot of indie games around that attempt to give you the upmost freedom inside their game without having any rules or a central goal to stop you from enjoying the game. Of course, no game is without a couple of rules and goals, but hey, if you can make a good game that doesn’t have many rules or goals, then congrats! I think this is what today’s game was trying to do, Hohokum. This game is part of Sony’s Play 2014 line-up, along with a port of popular indie games Rogue Legacy, The Swapper, and the other new PlayStation experience, Counterspy. Out of all the four games, this is the one that interested me the most. It had bright, colorful, calming atmosphere, and an entertaining soundtrack. So, what do I think about this game? Is it worth buying? Well, you should read on to find out.
Hohokum doesn’t really have a story. All you need to know is that you are a creature called “Long Mover”, and the goal of the game is to travel across very colorful and artistically beautiful worlds. The game has no central goal, but each of the 17 levels in the game do have a small goal that you need to accomplish. For example, there is a theme park world where you need to get a roller coaster up and running, a fashion level where you need to help a hat maker get different colors for hats, and help serve wine at a wedding. Those are just a few of the game’s levels. Each of the levels also has secondary activities, but the main goal is to unleash a multi-colored serpent by completing the one main task within the level. All of the levels are unlocked at the very beginning so you have total freedom in which one to tackle first. Like most indie games, if you know what you are doing, the game can take a few hours to beat, but the game will probably take you three to four hours at first, due to one problem that is constant throughout the game.
However, let us talk about the best part of the Hohokum, and by that, I mean it’s downright amazing-looking graphics. The 2D art is some of the best I have seen out of any game this year. The art direction from artist Richard Hogg is a sight to behold. The music is calming, and it does put you in a sense of ease as you travel across the levels. They are designed so you can make an additional beat to the background music.
Unfortunately, this game has a few issues. The biggest issue everyone has with the game is that the goals of every level are extremely vague. This means that the game isn’t really telling you what to do. I have to agree with the critics about this part of the game. Don’t get me wrong, I like flying around these highly colorful levels, but when the game isn’t telling me enough about what I need to do, then I am going to get tired of flying around aimlessly. No one needs a slew of cue cards that tell them what to do in a game, but if you are being too vague with the goals in each level, then you did something wrong. It prevents the player from having that full Flower or Journey experience, when they can’t have a fluent and enjoyable time. Once again as with some other indie games, I do have to say that this game is slightly overpriced. I would have been happy to pay $10 for it, but it’s $15, and for this kind of game, that is asking a bit much. I know indie developers need to make their money back, but price it right and you will sell more copies.
In the end, I do like Hohokum. It is one of the more unique games on the Sony platforms, and if you are into games like Flower, Journey, Entwined, or the upcoming ABZU, I think you would like this game. Like I said, this game is $15 and if you like those kinds of experiences I listed above, then I think you won’t mind spending the cash, but if you don’t like the current price tag, wait until you see it for $10. I really enjoy the fact that Sony is cooperating with indie developers and making sure that they are giving their consumer a varied experience. It’s actually pretty cool that all of the big-name companies are doing that. If you are looking for a bright colorful game that gives you a sizable amount of freedom, then you should check this game out!
This game gets an 8 out of 10.