by Staff Writer
November 24, 2009
Hippo High Dive is an upcoming game from Imangi Studios, and the first since their most notable title Harbor Master. This game was first thought of and created in the 10 hour iPhone game jam session at the 360iDev conference in Denver at the end of September (see the prototype photos here). Since then Imangi has fleshed out the idea, enhanced, and tweaked until they have their final product that was submitted to Apple last Friday. The game has a simplistic premise, and super straightforward controls. You control a hippo who is a death-defying high-diving artist extraordinaire. You control the hippo's decent using the accelerometer, and have to guide him through flaming hoops. If you successfully land in the tiny pool at the bottom then you move on to a higher diving platform. The game is set up so that there is one flaming hoop per 10 ft, so a 500 ft. dive has 50 flaming hoops to navigate through. You have three lives, and if you miss a hoop that's one life. If you touch part of the flaming hoop your hippo gets charred, and that's half a life. Hippo High Dive's art style is reminiscent of Doodle Jump, but with finer details. As you're hippo is diving the backgrounds flow smoothly changing from the stars to the clouds to the mountains, and finally the pool. The great thing is that the entire game flows as though it's an entire flip book, and your just flipping through the pages. The controls are reminiscent of Sky Burger/Scoops, and worked perfectly to get the hippo in hoops and to the next ones. An indicator at the bottom always shows where the next hoop will be. Online high scores are provided for highest dive, most dives, highest perfect dive, etc. Playing through the game I found it completely and utterly addicting as well as entertaining. It's so easy to just go again, and again, and even one more time. The great thing is that there is an end to each dive, rather than going as far as you can you actually make it into the pool. The increasing dive height is a perfect twist for this game type. Not one time have I played without it bringing a smile to my face. This title is definitely worth looking forward to. It is expected in about two weeks. See our video sneak peek of the game in action, and be sure to check our in-depth review once it enters the App Store.