A bold claim, but Hoplegs will fast-track the wagon that will take you away from it all, safe in a padded room without a controller, without having to see four legs in one place ever again. Unless you’re transferred to the animal wing.
Like a modern Victorian, it’s time to get out the cloth and cover the table legs as they’ll send you loopy, just like this puzzle/platform/patience game from WhyKev (Tani Nani – cute game – a review will follow at some point in time). The best way to describe it is Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy. It’s not the same game, but it’s that type of game.
There’s a story in there, but that’s not why you prepare yourself for what’s to come; shave your balls and brush your teeth; the real incentive is to give time the finger, as in the bird, and say, “Not today,
Satan Time”. Start practising that phrase in the mirror. There’ll be plenty of time for it.
Yeah, yeah, keep building this picture that this game is horrific and that you need to say your goodbyes to your loved ones now as you’ll be doing an intensive course on how to keep calm and carrying on in a box with four legs, and getting them to safety. Hoplegs has a funny face too.
Perhaps you’re familiar with the concept of a square? Great! That’s what you play. Now, like a platform game, moving your character along usually features appendages that co-operate, or you at least have a jetpack or something.
Hoplegs has four legs (count ’em), but they remain hidden until you press the corresponding button. Walking conventionally would be too easy and boring. A walking simulator, if you will. Instead, you propel Hoplegs forward by pressing a button that will thrust him (her? they?) into the air, and holding left or right will pitch them forward, thus giving you <snort> control.
For the flat levels, getting them into the air is the trick and pressing a corresponding button to keep the momentum when you touch the ground. Naturally, it appears unpredictable, but it’s pretty accurate. You just need superhuman timing to get the perfect run. And what is that perfect run? 30 seconds.
Play with a keyboard (why?…Kev) or gamepad, and other than flipping to the left and right, you’ll have four dedicated buttons. Pressing at the right time will have an appendage poke out like a saucy turtle, and Hoplegs will rocket into the air.
This was fine for the early levels, and, 12 seconds later, it was time for an induction to the Hoplegs Hall of Fame. Alas, people on the internet aren’t actual people and consume plutonium, radioactive goo and whatever comic book incentives there are to gain superpowers. You need to do this for you, nobody else.
So, like Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy, it’s about perseverance and applying yourself, and with time, you’ll improve. Only, Hoplegs doesn’t have that same ‘gotta finish this’ vibe. It also doesn’t have that ‘I’m going to peel my skin off with a rusty spoon and slap the walls with it’ either. No, I’ve never said that either. Just recalling a conversation with a friend.
The omittance of rage quitting works in its favour as you won’t be screaming yourself silly or breaking supposedly alloy keyboards or ludicrously priced gamepads, but you won’t also be rubbing your thighs and licking the screen in ecstasy neither. A friend.
Hoplegs is a milestone like a three-year garden project. Every so often, you do a bit more work on it, and the results look good, but you’re in no hurry to get it done. While Hoplegs doesn’t share the same Zen-like qualities with gardening (I couldn’t think of anything else, therefore assuming), it doesn’t induce as much rage as one would think.
That said, if you have a competitive nature or one of those completionists, best wishlist that straitjacket as playing this for extended periods of time? Well, you’re asking for trouble.