We’re digging Heavy Hogur, a clever puzzler with a very unique feel.
Calling someone “heavy” would usually be quite an insult, but Heavy Hogur doesn’t seem to mind too much – especially considering his knack for finding treasure galore. Unfortunately his weight does cause rather a problem, as levels crumble beneath him as he moves.
Hogur’s puzzle-based journey is head-scratchingly brilliant, with 60 levels of clever path-planning and crystal-grabbing to fill your time. There are a few graphical glitches and technical issues here and there, but these barely dwarf the lovingly-crafted level design and gameplay.
With his long matted beard, Heavy Hogur sets out into the mountains of Ivereth, exploring caves and looking for huge crystals to dig up with his pickaxe. Players click on tiles in the level, and Hogur will walk over to wherever you’ve clicked – however, the catch is that most tiles will then fall under the weight of our oversized dwarf, and he isn’t able to climb onto tiles that are above him. Hence, finding a perfect path through each level is essential.
Crystals are dotted about each cave, and Hogur needs to collect all of them before leaving through the stone doorway. Crystals are used to unlock new worlds, and there are different amounts in each level. Levels with more crystals are usually more difficult, but the reward is obviously much greater.
Movement is very simple, and guiding Hogur around feels great. You can use the arrow keys to spin the level around and zoom in/out, and clicking on a tile will cause him to move there via the best route possible. You can also stack a couple of moves, so that Hogur will continue to move after digging up crystals – although it would be nice if we were able to stack more moves, as Hogur moves rather slowly.
Heavy Hogur has a very charming and polished feel to it. The level selection menu is in the form of a world map, with positions of levels dotted around. At the top of the screen, you have statistics tracking how many crystals you’ve collected, how many caves you’re conquered and your current rank. It’s all nicely presented, and gives a great sense of progression.
Hogur himself is a loveable fellow, shuffling along and grunting every step of the way. His animations are comical yet lifelike, and it’s easy to care for his voyage. Levels are also well crafted, with each building itself piece by piece as you enter.
A number of graphical and technical issues threaten to mar Heavy Hogur‘s quality. Every now and again, Hogur will jump a few tiles in a rather glitchy way, and sometimes his animations will fail altogether. We also found on numerous occasions that he would suddenly refuse to budge, and we’d have to quit out of a level and go back in again to gain control.
We took issue with the ordering of levels as well, as it is rather confusing. As all the caves are scattered around the world map, there is no easy way to see which levels will be easier or more difficult than others. We ended up puzzling our way through lots of hard layouts, before finding a few that were much easier than what we’d already played – and this gave the experience a very unbalanced feel.
Heavy Hogur is an essential purchase for puzzle-gaming fans. With several hours of cave-carving and crystal-gathering, this is clever puzzling at its finest, with only a few graphical issues present. Give the Heavy Hogur demo a download, and see if it takes your fancy.