Hoplegs takes a game I bought from the Japanese PSN and transforms it into something that has the potential to be huge. Torquel was that game and it involved moving a block around using four legs poking out of each side of a square. Hoplegs does the same thing but gives it a cartoon graphical sheen and crucially, endless replayability.
This game isn’t for the faint hearted though – its devilishly difficult. Once you kick your square face into the air, you can rotate yourself around with the left analogue stick on your controller to try and gain momentum. You also use this to pitch yourself into an angle and then use another foot to kick you in that direction. It’s like an oddly over complicated javelin throwing contest as you’ll wall kick instead of wall jump to get across gaps. Of course, this rarely goes to plan and you’ll tumble back down again. File this game under the rage quit platform games with dodgy controls but Hoplegs does have logic behind it. If you get the knack of it, and I must admit I didn’t, you could traverse the levels in story mode with style and grace. Each level allows you to complete it or do it within a par time. The hardest way to complete a level is to do so without rotating and I must confess I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do that as I went full kick golf to get through most of story mode!
Outside of story mode, Hoplegs big innovation to the genre is its level editor. It is very robust and quite intuitive. The world is mapped out in blueprint paper for you to place terrain, obstacles and background effects. What I loved about the editor most was just how deep you could go. Want to place background objects on 4 layers back? Go for it! Want to fine tune how often a gun turret files? It is all adjustable. It reminds me of LittleBigPlanet in that everything has sliders that you can change to suit what you want to build. Being able to knock up a level in a few minutes, fine tune for another few and then clear it and upload it was a delightfully engaging experience. You can choose how deep you want to go and still make something worth sharing. Levels on Steam workshop are then downloadable and able to be played. It does currently lack a ranking system but you can filter levels by tags.
Whilst the game is in Early Access, I didn’t come across many bugs at all, and all the ones I did were in the level editor and sure to be ironed out. Co-Op and Party modes are coming in the future and those will open up Hoplegs to a wider audience than hardcore platformer lovers. As it stands though, this is already an enjoyable game. Hoplegs may only have a niche appeal to hardcore platform gamers at the moment, but it has the potential to have the same energy and vibes as Ultimate Chicken Horse. Party mode could bring utter chaos and so it won’t matter if you are all terrible at the game, it’ll be a great laugh for all involved.
Review copy provided by developer.
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