Hedgy is far from the only spiny hero in gaming. But if he’s a little slower than his famous blue counterpart his objectives are similar: collect gems in bright, colourful environments filled with incongruously deadly traps.
It starts off as a more gentle and bucolic affair, but as the game wears on the rural setting increasingly fills with hazards. Spike pillars and bear traps grow more plentiful, and enemies come in larger numbers and greater variety.
And as if that weren’t enough to contend with, platforms get ever smaller, with bridges between them either narrower or non-existent, requiring careful leaps.
Turn, turn, turn
Given that Hedgy’s movement is guided by tilts and twists of your iOS device, you could be forgiven for assuming that Cybertime’s platform-adventure will be frustrating for all the wrong reasons.
But you’d be way off the mark. The gyroscopic controls are extremely well-calibrated, offering a surprising degree of precision.
When you can easily negotiate a log that’s no wider than Hedgy himself, or pick your way through a labyrinth of traps without coming close to injury, you realise just what fCybertime has achieved.
To be this good takes ages
The controls are responsive without ever being so skittish that you bowl off the edge of platforms and into trouble. Indeed, at times you wonder whether Sega should be taking tips for its next iOS version of Super Monkey Ball.
The aim is to collect as many gems as possible in each stage and reach the exit. You use these jewels as currency to unlock new levels and power-ups. You can also use coins - three of which are secreted within every level - for the same purpose.
You can punch through crates and enemies by tapping the left-hand side of the screen, and leap gaps or obstacles by touching the right-hand side. Tap twice and you blow a bubble to gain extra height, which constitutes a double-jump in all but name.
Later, you’ll earn enough gems to purchase a grab attack, which allows you to grab boxes and barrels to lob at the round enemies that populate the levels, or a Super Helmet, which allows you to take three hits without penalty.
More powerful attacks gradually become available, including a bubble gum upgrade that allows you to shoot a pink projectile into enemy faces, with fairly predictable (but no less amusing) effect.
But by that stage you’ll need the help, as enemies appear in greater numbers and more vicious varieties. Combat can be a little clunky - you’ll mostly just tap the screen rapidly when confronted - but you can aim to knock enemies into traps or off ledges.
With friends like these...
Manage to bounce them into each other and you can earn combo bonuses - and sometimes you’ll anger them enough that they start fighting amongst themselves.
If the level design isn’t particularly inspiring, it offers some interesting challenges. Occasionally you’ll get a very forgiving quick-time event where you have to dodge incoming objects by tapping a round button on the screen, or spend the whole level sprinting away from a rolling log.
There might not be anything especially dazzling about Crazy Hedgy, but it’s a polished, good-looking, and well-made platformer, and something a little different from the glut of 2D physics puzzlers on the App Store.
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