Happy Hills by dreamfab icon

Happy Hills (Free) by dreamfab proves that the hills really do have eyes.

Hills like to be happy and reach as high as they can. Standing in the way of their happiness are stubborn blocks, reminiscent of the monsters in A Monster Ate My Homework. The blocks have a chip on their square shoulders and they want to bring the hills down with them. That’s where you come in because you have an arsenal of bombs to blow them away.

Happy Hills by dreamfab screenshot

Touch anywhere on the screen to have cross hairs appear, which represents where your bomb will explode.

The closer you place it near a block, the more yellow directional arrows will show. Let go and the bomb does its work. You have a limited amount of bombs to either knock them free of the hills or completely destroy them.

Stars are awarded for completely destroying the blocks by either knocking them off the board or discovering their weakness. Oddly, the bombs are more of a concussive force than an explosive one, so don’t expect to blow them to smithereens.

Perhaps one of the quirkier games I’ve seen, it does take a little getting used to before it transitions to becoming addictive.

Blowing up blocks to free the hills does seem pretty straightforward, though challenges do present themselves. Sometimes the hills are so close together that knocking a block from one hill will tumble it onto another. The blocks tend to be stacked upon each other, so placing the bomb may work for one of the bombs, but not all of them.

The loading screen feels like it takes forever, and the app crashed for me on two separate occasions during this time. Another turn off is that by default the game will display with the home button on the right. Call me crazy, but I like to keep the home button on the left (perhaps because of my iPad cover). An option to flip the screen exists in the settings menu, though it would be better to just be automatic.

The app is free, though the catch is that you only have 32 levels. The desert level pack with 48 new levels and different blocks is an in-app purchase for $0.99. An arctic level pack is scheduled for October, and a swamp one in November. Essentially, the free app just gives a taste of what the gameplay is like.

I recommend giving it a shot, especially if you’re a fan of physics games and tire of playing Angry Birds.