Hoplegs? More like “hopeless.” I will get straight to the point. This game is going to be either one you’re going to love or you’re really going to hate. There’s no in-between. For me, it’s a no-go.
Touted as a different kind of platformer, you take control of Hoppus, an apprentice wizard, who somehow changes himself into a square block with one leg on each of his four sides. What makes Hoplegs unique and unconventional is that you don’t necessarily control Hoppus with orthodox controls. Rather, you control him using the game buttons (one button is specific to one side) that push out Hoppus’s leg to make him jump. From there, you must rely on physics and chaos in order to move around.
The control scheme is what makes this game frustrating. There’s no strategy to do such a basic function such as moving towards the goal. Often, you’re button mashing just to get some trivial progress through the level; most often than not, you’re set back by going backward, because of an unnecessary button press that you thought was a good idea. Couple that with plenty of obstacles, (Because why not?) and you have the recipe for disaster…or anger.
I could see skilled gamers getting good at Hoplegs, but it’s a game of patience. A ton of it. By the third level in the story mode, the game expects you to do some tricky jumps where you do have to rely on physics and a lot of Baby Jesus luck in order to pass an obstacle. It could be impressive for a speedrunner to complete a level (and even the game) in mere seconds.
That is where I would say that those who will love Hoplegs will be the ones who will be dedicated to perfecting their craft in getting Hoppus through these levels. There’s even a cooperative mode where you can play these insane levels with a friend or two (or three). I heard through the grapevine too, that the PC version has an extra feature where you can create and share your own levels (à la Mario Maker).
However, I must say that I cannot recommend this game for most. It’s just too frustrating, and better off watched via a Twitch stream of YouTube videos.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher.
Help Hoppus Save the World One Leg at a Time
+ Impressive for skilled gamers to learn gameplay and show off
– Unique controls are frustrating – A lot of patience needed to pass a single level