Once you die in HoPiko, you don’t just have to replay the level where you died, you have to replay all the other levels that preceded it. It is akin to the games found in arcades and home gaming consoles of old. It is a decision wherein many might think is a mistake done by Laser Dog, the developers of said mobile game. However, it soon becomes clear that this is an intentional handicap done by the game’s developers. But once you start playing it, even you did die at a level, you will find yourself angry at yourself for dying and would relentlessly try again. That’s how addictive it is.
HoPiko Brings Out the Beast in Players
It also helps that the basic premise for the creation of HoPiko is attract hardcore arcade fans. In this game, your job is to destroy a computer virus that has taken a hold of your favorite game console. This in-game gaming console is surprisingly similar to the looks of an old NES unit when the opening cutscene unfolds. To get with the objective, you have to jump between platforms to rescue the good guys which are all trapped in red, blocky forcefield-type things.
What’s the catch in HoPiko (iOS and Android) you ask? You only have a few seconds to make each jump. Stand on a platform for too long and your guy will explode in a million tiny pieces which will, at the sacrifice of your current happiness, make you go back to square one. You could also get the angles of your jump wrong which may fire off your character in another direction and you will experience the same fate. This is a game that will test, and perhaps maybe even hone, your instant judgments and quick reflexes.
The good part here is that the controls are fairly easy to grasp. When you hold your finger down on the screen, it will charge your character up. Within those few short seconds, it is your job to make him fire off in the direction you want and the game does offer a guide in the form of an arrow so you’ll know where to send him flying off to. After which, all you have to do is look at your screen and hope for the best.
HoPiko is utterly old-school that is geared in the right direction. The game’s difficulty is so punishing that it may alienate the more casual mobile gamer. However, it is a worthy callback to the reaction-based arcade playstyles of old.