Game Review #405: Hoggy2 (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Steven Green
Publisher: Ratalaika Games
Release Date: 07.26.2019
Price (at time of review): $4.99
Buy Hoggy2 from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
Hoggy2 is a fun little puzzle-platformer that takes some interesting mechanics and makes a game that is truly a good time. You play as a blob who can swap gravity back and forth to allow for traversal through the levels. With an interesting world map system that makes for some choice in how you move through the game, and a unique food mechanic you have a title that isn’t just about emulating platformers of similar esteem but makes its own path through the eShop.
You play as Hoggy and Hogatha who are a blobby couple with a family of their own. Their poor little blob children are taken by a group of moon men, and it is up to the two of you to move through the campaign and get your children back from these extraterrestrial kidnappers. Play as either of these characters as you move towards the moon, where the battle will only just be starting to rescue your children from certain doom.
Up and Down
The platforming mechanic for this title is the ability to move your character to the top of the screen and then back to the bottom of the screen in a gravity swapping mechanic that takes the place of the traditional jump used in other platformers. This mechanic has been done before in titles like VVVVVV, but this title does a good job in implementing it in its own way. I will say that the stage design doesn’t always lend itself to this mechanic, as I found myself having trouble at times angling myself through the air to get through different holes you need to get through to progress, which makes me wonder if this mechanic was the intended one from the start, but nonetheless the game uses this mechanic well enough to make it understandable.
The enemy types vary greatly throughout this game, with the major thing throughout being just reskinned versions of the same type of baddie. This isn’t a bad thing, as enemy placement is done well to create obstacles in the stages but having a couple more variations would have alleviated a lot of the monotony of the title. You pretty much just need to avoid the enemies who make their slow crawl back and forth across the area that they inhabit. Don’t get me wrong, there are enemies who do different things, just not as mind blowing of changes as I would have liked in this one. That’s the gist of this part of the game.
Throughout the levels you also have fruit that you can grab and eat. Most of the time it isn’t very helpful to you, but there are some interesting transformations that can occur through the consumption of these scattered edibles about the level. Keep an eye out for sure and grab as much of the fruit as you can when it makes sense.
The interesting part of the game that I thought was the coolest is the way you physically progress through to later levels, and how you can make some choices as to how you want to move on. The game is laid out in a World-1 Level-1 setup as is customary, but you have to enter pots and complete small levels in order to gain a key. From there with enough keys you can unlock a major door to enter a whole new area with new mechanics and enemies. This is a fun way to go about this as you also have splitting paths throughout that make for additional ways to have fun with this title.
Each pot enters you into a simple area that has a puzzle that needs to be solved. Sometimes that puzzle can be solved as simply as to just get to the end past the enemies and make it to the key, however you also have various levers and bombs that can be used for different things that make for an interesting mix of puzzles that can be found throughout the game.
The art style for this title is extremely cutesy, and the blobs characters are emulated throughout with the round-styled environments and enemies that just make everything throughout very bubbly and fun. The game utilizes bright colors and a ton of charm to make a game that looks like a child’s dreamscape.
Hoggy2 is a well-done puzzle-platformer that makes for a great sequel. The game adds onto the original in huge ways and is a really fun title overall. The mechanics aren’t new by any means, and you won’t find a ton of iteration in this title outside of the world map system, which is a brilliant way to build a world, but the game overall is one I can recommend for most. The addition of a level maker is an added bonus for anyone who ends up being a fan of this game. If you are a platformer fan and the art style and mechanics look intriguing to you then this is one you should definitely take a closer look at. An entirely serviceable platformer to add to the long list of indie titles in the genre.
Buy Hoggy2 from the Nintendo Switch eShop here.
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*Review Code Provided by Ratalaika Games