I’ve never really written about a game before but recently I've been playing one that I badly want to share with you. I want to tell you about Hohokum. This is a new release from Honeyslug (makers of the fabulously fun Frobisher Says) and, according to their website, “ Hohokum is a game where a colourful serpent flies around helping people”. That’s essentially it in a nutshell. But I have to say, it’s magical. I was hooked from the moment I first watched Scott play it, fidgeting in my chair as I impatiently waited for my turn. I was mesmerised by the colours, the movement, the music, all from just the opening screen. The art style has all you could want from a game like this - a psychedelic smörgåsbord of colours and rounded edges, very pleasing on the eye.
You are the Long Mover who glides through different colorful levels, interacting with shapes and characters as you explore. The controls are straightforward – directional, go fast and go slow. At first, there doesn’t seem to be much of a goal. But the more you play, the more you realise you’re really just trying to solve lots of little puzzles. Some are as simple as rolling over a circle of multi-coloured dots, multiplying them until they are all as tiny as can be. Whilst another level has you searching for seeds which you then plant on hills to produce tiny little kite flying characters. On completing each set of levels, you save another worm buddy who you can fly around with, creating glorious swirly shapes in the sky.
The idea behind this game is super simple and some may argue that the novelty wears off quickly. My word of advice would be to be patient with it. Don’t expect the game to take you through the levels. You have to do the exploring, that’s all part of the fun. But the main reason I keep going back to it is much the same as my reason for replaying games like Flower. It’s calm and relaxing and emotive and all those other adjectives that provoke warm, fuzzy feelings inside. It has genuinely helped me to unwind after a long day at work and help me find my happy place before going to sleep at night and starting all over again. Whether you play it for that same reason or to challenge your brain a little (but not too much) with some serpent driven problem solving, I would highly recommend you give Hohokum a try.