Game Reviews

Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away!

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Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away!

Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away! is a physics-puzzler featuring stones that are evil, hills that are (despite the name) unhappy, and bombs that are solicitous. Don’t worry - it all makes sense when you start blowing things up.

Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away! begins with a bunch of hills hanging out on an island and enjoying life, as hills tend to do.

Sadly, the island's volcano erupts and spews forth tons of foul-tempered blocks that land on the hills, weighing them down and making them very sad.

The hills' bomb friends won't put up with that. They resolve to rid the hills of their block problem, though your input is needed to make sure everything detonates the way it's supposed to.

To progress from level to level in Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away!, you need to detonate a lot of bombs. You're allotted a certain number on each stage, and to set them off you simply hold down on a block to set its trajectory, then lift your finger to send it skywards.

You clear a level once you've relieved all the hills of their burdens, though earning three stars typically involves killing off all the evil blocks using a minimal number of bombs.

Death to blocks

Yes, you can humanely remove the blocks, but why merely push them out of the way when you can commit mass murder?

The method depends on the block type. Wooden blocks are burnable; metal blocks are drownable; balloon “blocks” can be popped with sharp objects. In many case, the murder must be conducted with the assistance of other blocks in the level. For example, if you use a bomb to shove a metal block into a fire, its heated surface can subsequently be used to burn wooden blocks.

The cause-and-effect gameplay that drives Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away! forces you to stop and think about how you're going to carry out each mission before you start flinging bombs willy-nilly - especially if you want to three-star a level. The gameplay is slow as a result, though not unpleasant since there are no time penalties.

However, the bombs you set off are anything but precise, which can be a big problem when you need to make tricky moves, like pushing blocks through narrow spaces.

It's fun to set off a bomb and watch blocks scatter, but the mayhem probably won't do you a lot of good if you're aiming to send a single block to a very specific area.

Though delicately guiding blocks with bombs can be a real test in patience, Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away! is an addictive puzzle game containing some deep challenges. Just prepare to hit the 'level reset' button frequently.

Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away!

Happy Hills 2: Bombs Away! is slower-paced and more frustrating than many other physics puzzlers, but its addictive qualities can’t be denied