Sunday, April 6, 2008

Help Hannah's Horse!!

Mostly like a Pac-Man clone, with some variation coming from the additional influence of something called FastFood, Help Hannah's Horse!! is a nice-looking game that is less than the sum of its parts due to an unfortunate bug in the way it deals with player boundaries.

You play the role of Hannah (Pac-Man) whose horse is sick and needs pills and food. The ghosts of angry jockies (that's just weird) are running around trying to prevent you from collecting all the dots and carrots that litter the board. The dots are in place like a Pac-Man board, but the carrots appear like fruits in Pac-Man at random places in random intervals. Unlike the fruits in Pac-Man you have to collect all the carrots that appear in a level in order to complete it.

The only problem I have with the game is that the sprite that makes up the character is apparently bigger than the picture of the character. Rather than not touching the ghosts, you have to stay an indeterminate distance away from the ghosts. Otherwise, despite the fact that they didn't get you, you die. That's sort of a game-breaker for me.

Other than that, it plays like a Pac-Man clone, with additional depth added via gates that only the ghosts or only the player can cross, and an invisibility potion that allows you to pass through ghosts (but doesn't send the ghosts back to their lair, like power-pellets in Pac-Man and horse-pills in Help Hannah's Horse!!).

The music is awesome. It reminds me of Smokey and the Bandit. It's a midi-fied cross between country and bluegrass which is totally great, and never got old to me. Mind you, if you can't stand country and bluegrass, you may react differently.

Final judgement? If you can deal with the fact that you have to avoid an invisible death-wall that surrounds the ghosts, it's a great Pac-Man game with a ridiculous premise. I've never before seen the phrase 'Equimyocine pills' in a game, and I don't expect I ever will again.

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