Greg Hunter

Posts Tagged ‘gravity’

Hoggy vs. VVVVVV

In Games on January 12, 2010 at 6:54 PM

It is too much for them to imagine that a discovery as remarkable as the telephone could arise in two places at once. But five people came up with the steamboat, and nine people came up with the telescope, and, if Gray had fallen into the Grand River along with Bell, some Joe Smith somewhere would likely have come up with the telephone instead and Ma Smith would have run the show. -Malcolm Gladwell, “In the Air”

If game design is an academic subject—and, let’s stop kidding ourselves: it isn’t—then John Raptis and Terry Cavanagh are this season’s Newton and Leibniz. Both recently released platform games (Raptis’s Hoggy and Cavanagh’s VVVVVV) centered around one single mechanic: instead of being able to jump, you have the ability to flip gravity, sending your protagonist from the floor to the ceiling or vice-versa. But while their central concept is the same, the two games really couldn’t be more different in execution.

As you'll note in this level, Hoggy's gravity-flipping doesn't affect enemies or other objects.

Hoggy, released a few months ago for the iPhone and iPod Touch, is very much a puzzle-platformer, and you guys know how I feel about puzzle-platformers (hint: I love them). The game comprises some 45 levels, which are accessed by jumping into jars scattered throughout a cavernous overworld, much like more recent Mario games. Each level holds some number of fruit, and the eponymous hero’s goal is to eat all of them.

The gameplay leans much more heavily towards puzzles rather than action. Hoggy moves left and right when you tilt the device, so Raptis kindly refrains from throwing too many timing- and precision-oriented challenges at you. In particular, the protagonist will refuse to ever jump off of an edge. Sometimes this is helpful, but often it forces you to take more circuitous routes via gravity-flipping. Read the rest of this entry »