Hans is a Swiss mountaineer who (aside from being a snappy dresser) just wants to live a simple life, climbing his mountain and yodeling. The thing about Hans is that he likes to savor his climbs, taking as long as possible, treating his taxed lungs to that sweet Alp air. Unfortunately for Hans, the local wildlife aren’t fond of him (or his yodeling) and have other plans. For they’d love nothing more than to push Hans off the edge of the mountain. Poor Hans!
As I’m sure many will agree, one of my absolute favorite games on the Price Is Right was definitely the Mountain Climber, so when I saw the press release and trailer for Spinlight’s Yodel-Oh!™ I got a bit excited. At first glance it reminded me a lot of that quirky yodel-filled spectacle that captivated me as a kid.
Yodel-Oh!™ is a fast-paced high-scoring reflex/endurance style game where you must tap disappearing/re-appearing targets, sheep, rams and more, while avoiding accidentally hitting the Swiss Maidens. Correctly tapping the bull’s-eye targets, sheep, rams, and balloons will earn you points. Miss a target, get hit by a sheep or ram, hit a round target with a picture of a ram on it or hit a Swiss Maiden and you’ll be climb onward and upward toward the edge of the cliff. Bonus signs (which appear after 20 consecutive hits) have the reverse effect of moving you backward down the mountain, extending the duration of your climb. There are special bonus rounds which appear each time you reach a 2,500 point interval.
As the game progresses, more and more things will be coming at you, and your fingers will have to do some quick traversing of the screen to keep Hans safe. In later rounds, the game gets pretty frenetic! Before you know it you’ll be cursing the sheep, cursing the rams, an even cursing those pretty Swiss Maidens for popping up in your way at the most inopportune time. But most of all, you’ll be cursing that infernal yodeling. The thing is, that even while you are cursing you’ll be laughing and smiling as well.
Once Hans finally meets his demise, if you’ve earned the new highest score (on the device which you are playing) you’ll be prompted for your name and be declared the new “King of The Alps”. That’s it, no leaderboards local or otherwise, just a top spot. Having a high score-driven game without online leaderboards is like holding the Olympics and then restricting the recording of the official times to just one guy with a pen and paper that can’t leave the stadium. Whether it be through OpenFeint or (preferably) Game Center this is a huge oversight that needs to be remedied ASAP.
The graphics are absolutely fantastic and the game has this really cute and unique 3D diorama-like feel to it. The sound design is also well done and a key part to successfully becoming the King of The Alps. You see, there are audible bleats just before a sheep or ram is about to come running in from the left side of the screen, cuing you to their approach. The background music and yodeling are very nicely done, set the perfect ambiance and are even a bit infectious. The mechanical-like sound effects are perfect and make you feel like you are interacting with a carnival game.
Yodel-Oh!™ is easily one of the most charming high-scoring reflex/endurance games I’ve played on the platform. It will undoubtedly make you laugh and frustrated at the same time (in a good way). The game is available in separate iPhone and iPad releases (unfortunately it’s not universal) for 99¢ each. While I haven’t played the iPad-only release, I will say that I found the game to be a bit more challenging on the iPhone than when playing in 2x mode on the iPad. Yodel-Oh!™ is fun and fairly addictive, although without global leaderboards or achievements to keep you coming back, the repetitive nature of the game may have limited appeal for some.