The hills are alive in puzzle game Happy Hills

Sep 27, 2011
Games

As an adult, you might be turned off initially by the saccharin sweet graphics and sounds in Happy Hills. However, once you get past the overly kid-friendly exterior, there’s some excellent puzzle goodness to be found in this app. The premise behind the game is simple enough. The hills lived happy lives in the land […]

As an adult, you might be turned off initially by the saccharin sweet graphics and sounds in Happy Hills. However, once you get past the overly kid-friendly exterior, there’s some excellent puzzle goodness to be found in this app.

The premise behind the game is simple enough. The hills lived happy lives in the land of Euphoria, that is until the nasty grumpy block began raining down and putting everyone in a foul mood. You must use your bomb-blasting skills to remove the offending blocks, and restore Euphoria to its former glory.

The story is silly, of course, and barely plays any role at all, other than setting up the action. This puzzle action is where the app really shines. Wooden, stone and iron blocks each have different characteristics, and therefore can be defeated in unique ways. Wooden block will burn in a few seconds after being set ablaze, unless, of course, they are introduced to water first. Iron blocks are immune to fire, but will drown if submerged for any length of time. Any of the blocks can be blasted off the screen if a hole exists, and it is up to you to decide the best way to dispatch the baddies.  A stage will be considered passed if at any time no hill has blocks on it, but to fully complete each stage, you must be rid of every block in the stage.

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Many of the stages are quite straightforward, and it will be rather easy to identify and perform the required blasting. Often this could be accomplished in the first try, which makes me think the difficulty could use some tweaking, or that this app is truly intended for children. The other hint that the main audience is a younger crowd, is the prominence of children’s laughter used as a sound effect. However, some of the puzzles later on will certainly test your brainpower, as it initially might seem impossible to remove every block on the screen with just a handful of bombs.

This app is quite a lot of fun, and is free to download, with later level packs appearing as in-app purchases. So go ahead and run for the hills . . . and make them happy.

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Wayne Stuckey

After receiving his bachelor's degree in management information systems on planet Earth, Wayne decided to settle down and live there. He writes from the plains of the Midwest.

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