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About the Story
Baby, it's cold outside. All you want to do is snuggle up in a warm sock and take a nap. But something seems to be going on in the house, and you're determined to find out what it is.
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Hippo on Elm St is a cute, shortish and nicely modelled adventure about a house hippo (they're small) scouting the place for food on Halloween. It's based on the world of a Canadian Public Service Announcement video from the 1990s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNbw-qycyl4). I wasn't given this context when I helped beta-test it, which made the experience a tad perplexing for me. But then again, small, cute animals obviously need to eat, it's logical that other small, cute creatures might impede their attempts to do so, and if it's Halloween I shouldn't be surprised to encounter Halloweenish stuff, right?
The game environment is dynamic and a lot of the puzzles are about mutual exclusivity. Carrying one thing and not being able to carry another, being able to move in certain ways or on certain surfaces in certain circumstances and not others. It's clever like this and pretty dense for a small game.
Sticky points are that it's not always evident what you should be doing (if you lose focus, harken to the very first things the game said to you. House hippos are simple creatures with simple goals) plus the verbs themselves can be sticky. It's easier to finish the game than it is to get all the points, and there's still one I'm missing.
For cute, G-rated IF entertainment about snug-seeking house hippos who like tasty stuff, this is the house hippo game to beat.
Like "And a Hippo New Year," I played this with my young niece, who was excited when I told her there was a new game featuring the House Hippo. We had a great time solving the puzzles together and trying to score all the points, which you don't need to do in order to win. We almost gave up on finding the last couple of points, but when we did, I realized some clever things about the implementation I hadn't noticed before. The game is rather short, but I don't see that as a bad thing.
If you enjoyed Hippo on Elm Street...
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This is version 1 of this page, edited by genericgeekgirl on 30 October 2015 at 9:23pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item