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Hohokum Review

Encouraging you to rediscover fun

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Honeyslug creates incredibly diverse games, each of them seemingly conceived from an evening of mind-altering drugs. Or, at least that seems like the only reasonable explanation for the crazy, and hilariously fun games that make up its back catalogue. For many, though, PlayStation Vita title Frobisher Says was probably their first encounter with Honeyslug’s quirky game design. And, while Hohokum seems like something entirely different, it’s unmistakably made by the same team.

This is probably thanks, in part, to the continued use of Richard Hogg for the art style. His hand-drawn jonky cartoon style adds so much character, and when you’re playing as a rainbow snake in a world where practically nobody speaks (bar a bearded cyclops loon tracking your progress on the pause screen) you need as much character as you can get.

The story here is also a rather strange, but simple, one. As the rainbow snake, you seemingly end up getting all the other colourful snakes excited to party, at which point they all get sucked through some portal of your creation. So, it’s your job too round them up from each different world and unite them once more.

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It’s hardly a story that’s going to bowl people over, win awards, or give Shakespeare a run for his money. But it also isn’t designed to, in fact, I’d wager that Honeyslug would rather have the world of Hohokum do the talking. And that’s the point here, Hohokum is all about exploration and having fun. It’s about careening around an open map and playing with the environment. It’s about seeing what happens when you poke an acorn-like bubble on the screen, or have a trail of people on your back. And then when you find yourself being bounced around helplessly, or realise you’re assisting a town kite flying trip, Hohokum is about the unbridled childlike joy of discovering something new. And, what’s more, it always feels like you’re the first to find it.

When I first got to play Hohokum, back before the PlayStation 4 was released, it was sold to me as a ‘zen’ game. A game where you could come home and ‘mong’ out to after a hard day. While that is certainly still very true, puzzles feel more structured than before. The difference this time being how they manage to feel like a choice you’ve undertaken, rather than a set of instructions to complete. And that’s it, that’s the magic behind Hohokum, it’s a game that revels in discovery and the joy found within it all, and that’s why it never holds your hand and never punishes you either.

Combine this colourful and inventive world that inspires curiosity with an effervescent soundtrack of electropop and ambient cheer – alongside joyous sound effects and infectiously fun animations – and it’s clear you’re playing something really special. The trouble is that, while it is great fun to play and experience, first impressions make it fall to that disgusting saying of “it isn’t made for everyone”. The truth, however, is that Hohokum really is made for everyone, it’s just that everyone hasn’t quite realised it yet.

TheGamersHub Score
Reviewer: Vaughn.H
8.5
10
+ Pros

+ Immense amounts of fun

+ Conveys sense of childlike fun

+ Almost something new to discover each time you play

+ Something for everyone

- Cons

- Can be a hard concept to grasp

- Hard to play with a serious 'gamer' frowny face

- You might look like a fool in front of your 'bros'

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