Hoppenhelm – Retro Done Right

Dec 18, 2017
Arcade

Hoppenhelm is a retro arcade game with just three buttons that takes the very essence of the retro adventure genre and filters it to mobile.

In Hoppenhelm you get control of an adorably dangerous Knight with just three options to fight through a level – Attack, Jump and Block. With just those three buttons you take on an endless dungeon, jumping over platforms that drop away, TnT blocks that explode after just a brief step and little jelly monsters with a heart symbol that, incongruously, want to eat you alive.

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Hoppenhelm is very much in keeping with the traditional retro adventure game style. The art, the enemies, and the level design all bring you back to a simpler time, a time of playing endless arcade games with whatever quarters you could scrounge together, drinking far too much soda and most likely damaging your eyes forever.

The art, the enemies, and the level design all bring you back to a simpler time

To aid you in your progression through the dungeon, you can unlock new characters and weapons with the gold you gain bashing the jellies into submission. These new characters have different passive abilities, varying from critical chances to special abilities when striking enemies.

The weapons themselves also get special abilities, ensuring you always have something to spend your gold on.

The problem lies in the fact that you need to spend the gold increasingly frequently to get better characters so as to progress in the levels. Without more powerful characters and weapons, it is hard to keep going with only the three lives you have at the start.

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However, the game does not inherently block you from progressing; though it is far easier to get along with the more powerful characters and weapons, nothing is stopping you from being supremely excellent with just your three buttons and managing it all on your own.

This lack of a ceiling on gameplay means that Hoppenhelm remains playable and enjoyable despite any lack of time commitment.

This lack of a ceiling on gameplay means that Hoppenhelm remains playable and enjoyable despite any lack of time commitment.

The gameplay is obviously limited to just the three buttons, but they manage to combine to create decently complex overall gameplay. You need to time your jumps to not fall to your death, as well as the variety of blades and weapons that seek to cut you horrendously.

Hoppenhelm seeks to channel that quality of retro adventure games that so many players desperately seek. A clean, pixelated art style and a variety of monsters to destroy, jumping easily between platforms, yet caught occasionally between falling surfaces and weapons.

Hoppenhelm is intense, yet still somehow calming. A culmination of the genre, Hoppenhelm feels exciting and intriguing, an experience that leaves the player blissfully frustrated at his own lack of progress, yet eager to continue to try and rack up an even better high score.

Hoppenhelm is not easy, nor is it too difficult –  it manages to create a great balance, ensuring the player is always having fun, yet still just the right amount of frustrated.

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Our Rating

ProsCons
The retro gameplay feels exciting and fresh, despite its over-done genre. The variety of characters and weapons keeps Hoppenhelm feeling new.The frequent deaths can make you feel like you’re spending a lot of time repeating the same levels.
Rating
9/10
Hoppenhelm
Developer: Tobias Ornberg
Price: Free+
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Sam Eskenazi

Sam is a YouTuber, Streamer & Games Journalist. He loves to cook and listen to the sound of his own voice, ideally at the same time.

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