Version Reviewed: 1.1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad Air
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
As its name suggests, HipstaFox wears its counterculture appreciation with pride. But it also successfully rides the razor’s edge between charmingly twee and insufferably pretentious. Its only real issue is that it’s more like a great lead single than an entire satisfying album.
That music metaphor wasn’t arbitrary - HipstaFox is, in fact, a rhythm game. As the titular vulpine walks through the forest, players tap the right icons as it passes the flowers representing the note chart. There’s a button for red flowers and blue flowers, and hitting both at once clears purple flowers. The simple setup and relaxed pace keep things manageable with touch controls.
However, instead of playing through a collection of songs like in most music games, HipstaFox just features one unchanging, presumably endless track and encourages players to progress further and get higher scores. Granted, it’s a really fun track. Inspired by one-time internet sensation “What Does the Fox Say?,” the piano medley is surprising soulful and deep with unconventional rhythms that are enjoyable to listen to as well as physically tap out. Plus, it does sound like the kind of hipster music that an upscale coffee shop would play or that Apple would plug in their latest product commercials.
But while the content might be a little thin, at least it has great packaging. HipstaFox's attention to art and design would earn approval from its Brooklyn, Portland, and Williamsburg peers. The woodland backgrounds and their shifting seasons feature rustic, painted colors that recall 60s nature magazine illustrations and Wes Anderson movies. The fox itself is a cute little cartoon creation and players can customize it with unlockable hats and bowties. Also, at the end of each run, players can edit their performance into a mini music video to share with friends.
HipstaFox's relative brevity is actually pretty appropriate considering its hipster heritage. This is the same movement behind impossibly tiny cupcakes, after all. But like those teasing desserts, what’s here is so good one can only wonder why there isn’t more.