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HoPiKo Reviewed by Cyril Lachel on . Although it came with some anger and a lot of frustration, I ultimately had a good time with HoPiKo. This is a great play on games like N++ and Super Meat Boy, and fans of this type of challenging platformer will find a lot to like here. There are a lot of levels to master, new modes to unlock and even a harder difficult for the real experts. I'm not sure I'll ever become a "real expert" at HoPiKo, but I definitely had a good time jumping my way through this clever platformer. Rating: 71%
HoPiKo
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  • Review Score:

  • B
All my life, I've been told that you have to blow into the cartridge to get them to work. But HoPiKo posits a different theory. Forget about dust and dirt, because this curious new platformer would like you to believe that the problem is a virus that invades your classic game consoles. And as such, the only solution is to play through a simple yet devilishly challenging 2D platfomer in order to bring that old tech back to life.

Originally released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One last year and on mobile phones in 2015, HoPiKo is finally making the jump to PC. It's fitting, because jumping is pretty much the only thing the little action hero can do. There's no running around, just you making perfectly timed jumps in an attempt to save all of your HoPiKo friends.


The trick is that you're able to aim before each jump, giving us freedom to fly across the screen with reckless abandon. The little guy is limited to jumping in straight lines, but beyond that he's free to get to the exit in any way he sees fit. The goal is to complete five bite-sized stages in a row and then move on to the next group. If you die at any point, you'll have to start over from the beginning.

At first this seems like no big deal, but HoPiKo has a lot of mean tricks up its sleeve. You'll begin to run into exploding platforms, homing missiles, platforms affected by gravity, spikes, lasers and a whole lot more. All this adds up to a good, old-fashioned challenge that relies heavily on your reflexes and memory.

The combination of new obstacles and the five-stage structure adds a lot of urgency to HoPiKo. Not that similar platformers like N++ and Super Meat Boy had a leisurely pace, but there's a quickness here that can often feel chaotic. And much like the games I just mentioned, HoPiKo is good about quick restarts, so there's never more than a second or two between a death and a retry.

Despite the simplicity often working in the game's favor, I found HoPiKo to be a tiring experience. It's one of those games where things can happen so fast that levels start to blur together. I do like that each level is good about throwing new ideas at you, but there's certainly a lot of repetition involved. The minimalist art design certainly doesn't help, though it is striking and they do mix things up with the occasional color swap.

HoPiKo (Steam)Click For the Full Picture Archive

I also found the difficulty to be cheap, especially in the second half of the game. Don't get me wrong, I went into HoPiKo knowing that this was a game built around challenging platforming puzzles, but some of those levels had me wanting to break my controller in half. Individually, they aren't that bad, but trying to make a perfect run where you master five stages in a row can be frustrating at times. This is definitely for the people who get an almost masochistic thrill out of insanely difficult platformers.

Although it came with some anger and a lot of frustration, I ultimately had a good time with HoPiKo. This is a great play on games like N++ and Super Meat Boy, and fans of this type of challenging platformer will find a lot to like here. There are a lot of levels to master, new modes to unlock and even a harder difficult for the real experts. I'm not sure I'll ever become a "real expert" at HoPiKo, but I definitely had a good time jumping my way through this clever platformer.
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