It has been a busy few months for publisher Chillingo, releasing a steady stream of iOS titles since being snapped up by EA. Hooga is one of them; a prehistoric platformer which harks back to the days of Joe & Mac for Nintendo’s Super Entertainment System.
Hooga contains sixteen levels of action, each spread over savage jungles, forbidding glaciers, lush grasslands, and harsh deserts – all of which provide unique enemies and obstacles. Said obstacles range from disappearing platforms, to hot jets of steam and spikes, which will punish you for not exploring carefully.
Levels are well designed and strike a nice balance between familiar platform elements and action. Although both enemies and obstacles are aplenty, levels are unfortunately fairly short, and with only sixteen on offer, you can breeze through them in no time.
Taking control of the game’s main character – a cavemen – you must jump, throw weapons, shield yourself, and even fart to successfully navigate a level. Numerous weapons on are offer throughout, each with varying degrees of usefulness, and some worth avoiding. Eggs, which are scattered around each level, can be cracked open providing health-giving meat, power-ups, or items that will hinder your progress.
Hooga boasts a pleasing variety of enemies – forty in total – ranging from dinosaurs to killer plants. Each level also houses a boss which must be overcome if you wish to progress. Regrettably, bosses require little effort to actually beat and simple button-bashing will usually suffice. The majority of bosses can be defeated by standing at the opposite side of the screen, repeatedly hitting the weapon button, and watching as your attacks repel the boss’ advancements.
The game’s controls provided further frustration, especially when navigating one of the many jumping sections. Similarly, trying to raise the caveman’s shield often led to unwanted actions and subsequent damage from enemies. On the plus side, Hooga contains forty-seven achievements of varying difficulty, all contributing to both Crystal and Game Center.
Bad controls and easy bosses aside, Hooga is a very competent 2D platformer. The sheer number of enemies, weapons, and bosses, keep the gameplay exciting and fresh throughout. Overall Hooga is a very fun game, however, short of hardcore achievement hunting, it offers little incentive to keep coming back. On a side note, keep your eyes peeled for a cameo that movie buffs are sure to love.