Friday, April 21, 2017

Hoog


Believe it or not, but Hoog is a shareware platformer released in 1994 by MP Lord - yes he of Droid fame. It's an incredible game, quite similar in looks to Creatures but with more of a puzzle theme including elements that reminded me of Sleepwalker and Lemmings. Our objective is simple - rescue baby Hoogs which are trapped inside cages and desperate to be freed. However, these little kiddies are daft and, once released, will blindly wander off through their dangerous new world and die. So let's release each one and help guide them all to safety.

  
Use those balloons wisely to avoid the various dangerous and always collect the free loot.

Hoog can walk, jump and chuck bombs but he's only a short fella so cannot do much without the help of helium-filled balloons to leap the landscape reaching those inaccessible areas. Various mechanics will aid our odd looking hero; look out for springs to bounce high into the air, switches that unlock hidden ledges and special gateways that transport Hoog long distances in the blink of an eye. Playing this platformer requires an enormous level of strategical thought; your babies aren't the brightest and need to be guided every step of the way. It would be disastrous if you were to free one without first clearing its path from monsters and avoiding burning fires or drowning.

  
Hang on, they look cute but also nasty... Hmm, let's blow them up just to be sure!!

Visually, this is one of the most impressive games I have ever played and it's now you should stop and remember that Hoog isn't commercial. The graphics are truly outstanding and some of the best I have ever seen with such astounding colours, parallax scrolling and beautifully drawn sprites. There are plenty of special effects like gorgeous exploding stars and I also love the neat touches - like Hoog smiling as he jumps and how he wiggles his bum when using balloons! (and you should forget emulation because Hoog scrolls infinitely better on a real Atari ST)

  
Collect everything you find for lots of glittery bonus points and a big grin on Hoog's face!

Once again, MP Lord has released a wonderful game and one which humiliates some of the commercial companies who rushed through sloppy ports. This just proves what the Atari ST is capable of - a magnificent example of great coding. It's not easy but is utterly superb and will keep you occupied for many hours with its humorously challenging gameplay. Hoog is one of my favourite #homebrew games and I cannot recommend it highly enough!!

  
The later levels are so cruel but there is a nifty cheat to access them straight away. Just ask...

2 comments:

  1. Damn this looks impressive... Never played it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please share anything you find and let the world know. And brace yourself for a challenge too. It looks cute but has a Lemmings side to it that frustrates the hell outta me lol

      Delete