Simplicity is often what distinguishes mobile games from PC and home console games.
But some mobile games can be a little too simple, as side-scrolling platformer Herman the Hermit is eager to demonstrate.
As premises go, a crazy Himalayan hermit leaping across floating islands has potential. The main mechanic of dragging a finger from platform to platform to coax said hermit into jumping between them, not so much.
The hills are alive with the sound of Herman
One issue with this approach is that it can be monotonous. To break things up, developer Capcom has constructed the scoring in such a way that you earn more points by executing long jumps. In other words, the less time you spend with your finger on the screen, the better you do.
The controls lack precision, too, meaning it’s likely you’ll spend most of your time watching Herman plummet off the bottom of the screen.
Once you do get a handle on the controls, the game offers no challenge whatsoever.
Herman needs a hobby
Capcom deems Herman the Hermit’s gameplay both “endless” and “addictive”. Only one of those adjectives is true, and not in the positive sense intended.
The game never develops from the initial setup. There’s a few smaller platforms dotted around here and there, but these feel randomly dropped in, rather than carefully placed within the scheme of a difficulty curve.
More’s the pity, then, that so much effort went into Herman the Hermit’s crisp and colourful visuals and hilariously detailed animations.
The power-up effects especially, like the way Herman strikes various poses as the island-hopping lightening power-up kicks in, are genuinely fun to watch.
But Herman seems to be a Hermit for a reason - he’s just not that fun to be around.