Oh My Giraffe is the perfect visualization of how most of us probably feel on Thanksgiving. Endlessly rushing about, stuffing our faces to near-explosion, pursued by a ravenous pack of lions intent on ripping us to pieces. (Depending on your relationship with your in-laws.) But for the floppy-necked star of Oh My Giraffe, there is no post-dinner escape or pants-unbuttoning: there is only more eating, running, and trying to survive long enough to eat and run some more.
The game is a charmingly pixelated endless escape set in a savannah populated only by dangling fruit trees, hordes of lions, and a single giraffe. As that giraffe, your goal is to eat as much fruit as possible while sacrificing the occasional piece as a lion-thwapping weapon. You control your body and speed by dragging on the left side of the screen and your neck and fruit-attack on the right, aiming directly at fruit to consume it and at its upper stem to release it onto the ground.
There’s a delicate balance between eating and dropping fruit, since your giraffe can only go a limited amount of time without eating before he keels over. You also have to be careful to align your body beneath dropped fruit so it bounces off you and into any pursuing lions; otherwise, it will just splat on the ground, wasted.
There is a day/night cycle which puts the lions to sleep and allows a brief all-you-can-eat reprieve for our hungry hero, but each morning the predators come back in larger, faster groups. If a lion so much as touches your tiny tail, it’s game over.
This is, essentially, the gist of Oh My Giraffe. At the moment, it borders on too simplistic to receive a resounding recommendation: in spite of the day/night cycle and increasing difficulty, there’s too little here to keep things interesting. The only goal is to improve your high score, and yet the game currently doesn’t even store that score or work with Game Center.
That said, the real draw here is the charm. The giraffe’s ridiculous ragdoll neck is immediately endearing, especially as fruit-gulps slide down in exaggerated bumps. The lions–despite trying to eat you–are also adorable, flopping over with legs in the air and “zzz”s above their head the instant night falls. Fruit points you receive are tracked by a dotted line that makes a sort of ever-trailing constellation, and the savannah slides past with lovely parallax scrolling. What’s here is absolutely enjoyable, but–like the always-hungry giraffe–we just want more.