Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4
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Since first getting my hands on a preview build of Hank Hazard back in September, I've been excited to play the full experience. On the surface, it looks like a typical puzzle platformer, the kind of which we've seen many times before. Underneath however is a title that offers more depth than is usually the case, mostly thanks to the plethora of different objectives to complete.
The player takes on the role of Hank, stunt hamster extraordinaire, as he navigates 100 levels that increasingly test the player's reactions and thought process. As is typical with such a game, the first few levels are simple enough. They introduce the main mechanics behind the game such as the importance of blocks that can be tapped away and the dangers of fire.
There's also the explanation of the many different bonuses that can be acquired. We've all seen physics puzzle games that involve picking up 3 stars between the start and end of the game but how about ones that offer bonus challenges? Hank gains a nut bonus through completing certain objectives such as hitting the finish line at a set speed or completing the level in under X amount of moves. 18 secret levels can also be unlocked through collecting golden nuts that are hidden amongst some of the main group of levels.
It's a good mix of different things to concentrate, ensuring that Hank Hazard feels a cut above the rest. It's great fun to play, also, with that 'one more go' mentality living strong throughout the game. Much of this success is down to the mixture of obstacles to traverse. Weights shoot Hank flying into the air across levels and boxing gloves can be activated to propel Hank skywards with one memorable level turning the game into pinball briefly. The further players progress, the more imaginative obstacles become making it a joy to see what's next. It's a great amalgamation of typical gaming tropes with the stunt hamster theme.
Put together, Hank Hazard is a fantastic physics puzzler. Amongst an App Store heaving with the genre, Hank Hazard stands tall, making it an unbeatable example.