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Review: Hi, How Are You - Hottest Games of 2009 We Missed

January 8, 2010




Hi, How are You is a unique spin on any type of game in that it combines puzzle platformer gameplay with the music and style of Daniel Johnston. You can find out all about him here. The game brings his style to life including visuals based on his cover art, and infused with some of his best songs. The game has a basic story where you’re trying to get back your true love from Satan who stole her, and turned you into a frog. As you progress you end up playing as a frog, cube, sphere, and person. hhay_levels


In Hi, How Are You every level has the same mechanic where you need to touch every single platform in the level. The main pieces are green, and there are also varying hard to find red blocks. Just over 30 levels are included, and each is scored from bronze to gold depending on blocks touched, and time taken. Every level is timed, and collecting red blocks helps your score. Speaking of scores OpenFeint is now included for online high scores for the entire game total. Over 25 achievements are included as well that unlock cover art too. There are two controls with either tilt or virtual joy stick. hhay_pendulum

The Good

There is a lot going on in this game, and the most refreshing part is that their is a great game mechanic underneath it all. The gameplay is nearly unseen anywhere, and especially for the iPhone where you have to touch every platform in a level. This is a whole different type of puzzle platformer that requires you to see every aspect of nicely designed levels. As you progress playing as different characters from frog, to sphere, to cube all present different challenges and require different tactics. Some levels you need to push blocks around to reach higher, on other levels you need to bounce around spinning discs, and others you need to take a ride on a catapulting scoop. The included enemies are nicely bizarre, though not much of a challenge. hhay_push A really great aspect is having the levels timed which provides the biggest challenge when combined with finding all the red blocks makes it a really fun experience. It's just so different than other games as well as just different from level to level to keep you constantly engaged. The touching every platform mechanic is definitely fun for anyone. The game has an extremely wonderfully unique design. The game is an explosion of color and rendered in 3D. Everything looks hand drawn, but still has a real nice polish to it as you play in the world of Daniel Johnston. Numerous Johnston songs are included that go with the basic storyline, and are a definite separator from other games with basic soundtracks. hhay_eyes The virtual joystick was super easy to control, and the tilt controls were adequate, but virtual joystick is the way to go in this game. A deluxe save system is provided that picks up in the exact spot you left off. This is definitely one game where after you complete the first few levels, you will want to make it all the way through. The story is extremely basic, but the levels vary so much you will want to play them all to see what's next. OpenFeint is added on top of that to get a highscore as well as tons of achievements that are engaging enough to strive for. hhay_peppermint

The Bad

The only minor concern is that the game is relatively easy. Even as the difficulty increases not many level will require a retry, and everything is easily figured out for being a puzzle platformer. Also the gameplay mechanic could be looked at as repetitive though I never found that. The game may be a little too psychedelic for some, but if this is the case, you need to consider stopping taking yourself so seriously.

The Verdict

Hi, How Are You is a sensory overload that is great in every way. It's just an immersive experience as you dive into a clorful explosion rendered in 3D with songs from Daniel Johnston. Underneath the beautiful shell is top notch gameplay that is a top notch puzzle platformer, and definitely fun. Buying Hi, How Are You for only $0.99 should be considered stealing as it's easily a must buy, and one of the best platformers you can get.

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