Get your game on

Hohokum explores a fantasy world with a slow pace



September 03. 2014 2:01PM
By Robbie Vanderveken | Weekender Correspondent


System: PS3, PS4, PS Vita

ESRB Rating: E for Everyone: Fantasy Violence, Crude Humor

Genre: Action

Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Developers: Honeyslug, Santa Monica Studio

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There are a lot of interesting indie games on the market. In most, you play as a guy, or a space ship, or some conventional character.


In “Hohokum”, you play as a giant flying space creature that resembles a worm or a snake. Your goal is to travel throughout the different worlds looking for other space worms. “Hohokum” is primarily a game about exploration. There is something simply delightful about flying around seeing how your character will react to each new world. There is a huge amount of variation in each of the levels. In some levels you are collecting things like stars, in other worlds you are doing things like painting the scenery. In most levels you are basically a living vehicle carting around other citizens from one place to another.


In some ways “Hohokum” is not even really a game, it is just a relaxing ride through the world taking in the sights. There aren’t too many real goals or objectives, just enjoy the ride. It is a very interesting ride. The art style is vibrant and colorful, and the music is quite quirky and charming.


It’s very hard to not get drawn in and enchanted by the sights and sounds, however because there isn’t any real meaningful goals there isn’t any real depth. I really enjoy when games change your perception of what a game is. Similar to the game Journey, it is all about the emotions you experience along the way instead of reaching some score or goal. The gameplay that is in “Hohokum” is extremely simple, you just guide your flying snake creature around crashing into things and picking up passengers.


Throughout all the worlds there are a bunch of puzzles to solve but once you figure out what is going on they are all very easy, a little too easy. There are many worlds to explore but they are all open and available at the beginning, and there are no power ups or points so there is no type of progression. The only thing that keeps you going is the drive to explore, however once you see everything there is no real reason to come back and play it again.


“Hohokum” is one of the most interesting experiences you will play this year, and it is also a great value, it is a cross buy and cross save meaning if you buy it on PS4, you also get it on the PS3 and the PS Vita, and the game saves carry over from game to game so you can start playing at home, then continue the game on the go while waiting in a doctors office, and then pick it up again at home. Even though there isn’t a ton of replay value it is a great experience to behold. The world of “Hohokum” is a playground to be explored, there is no pace you have to adhere to, it is all up to you.


“Hokohkum” is not perfect even on the new generation of system, there is still some pretty long load times, and the frame rate does hiccup once in a while but overall that doesn’t take away from the experience too much because it looks great and is bursting at the seams with charm and personality. It is a Sony exclusive so if you don’t have a Playstation you will miss out on this great game. If you have the option the PS4 is the best way to experience this game. It is the most graphically superior and it has some unique control options. On the PS4 you can use the touchpad on the controller to trace where you want to go for added precision and the lightbar on the controller changes colors at different points of the game for an added effect. It is bizarre that the Vita version doesn’t have the touch controls since that system is one big touch screen but unfortunately it lacks that feature.


Overall I loved this game. it is great if you have a slow, rainy weekend stuck in the house, you can go on a relaxing journey in a colorful, fun world. There is nothing stressful or action packed about this game, there is no actual goal so you can just explore at your own leisure. The music is fantastic and every new environment you find is simply enchanting, no matter how you choose to make your way through the world it is bound to create some lasting memories.


Robbie Vanderveken is the digital operations specialist at The Times Leader. E-mail at rvanderveken@timesleader.com.



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