Over the past few days I have spent some hands on time with a new release for Mac and iOS called Happy Hills, published by dreamfab which is the same publisher that brought you titles such as The Lost Shapes, Saving Yello, and Chasing Yello. As a visitor traveling through the Happy Hills, the hills are no longer happy as they are being weighted down by various types of blocks. Your goal: to remove the blocks by any means necessary, which in this case means using bombs to send those pesky blocks flying. So how did Happy Hills stack up, keep reading to check out the review below.
EB 8.5 out of 10 Buddhas
- Simple Gameplay Mechanics
- Fun Graphics
- Abundance of Level Content
The Not so Awesome
- Background music
From the moment I ventured into the world of Happy Hills, I noticed the simplicity of the game play. On the initial level, you are given and interactive block to click on giving you a quick demonstration of what to do, and then you are off on your own. As you click and hold on the screen, you are presented with a set of cross-hairs that you will move to different positions around the block, or blocks, to achieve the desired results. Moving the cross-hairs around, you will see a set of arrows for each block indicating indicating the direction the blocks will be sent flying. The closer a bomb is detonated to the blocks, the further they will fly as indicated by the arrows.
Cross-hairs help you determine launch direction of the blocks
In order to proceed to another level, you must remove the blocks from the hills, allowing them to rise up and be ‘happy’. Although removing them will let you proceed, you can also earn a star rating based on the number of blocks you either destroy or knock off of the map upon completing the level. In addition, different blocks are made of different material and can be disposed of various manners. For example, metal and stone blocks can be pushed into the water and drowned, while blocks made of wood can be set ablaze and be burnt to ash, and any of them can be knocked off into a bottomless pit on some maps. As you progress through the levels, at times you will find a combination of block styles requiring you to become creative to pass the level. For example launching a metal block through fire heating it up which will set a stack of wooden blocks on fire when making contact, burning them to ash. These different combinations and varying degrees of difficulty keep the game fun and addictive.
Stars can be earned by destroying blocks on each level
One thing you will notice as you progress through each of the levels are the fun graphics. Each of the objects on the screen have different facial expressions that will change depending on the action. The expression of the hills go from sad and painful to happy and relieved as the weight of the blocks are removed. If you watch closely, even the faces of the blocks change as you are blasting them around the screen, even laughing and mocking you when you misplace a bomb. In addition, the static hills in the background also have varying facial expressions which seem to add to the allure of the Happy Hills world.
All of the objects have varying facial expressions
With the addictive gameplay offered by Happy Hills, its good to have an expansive world with several levels of entertainment to keep you busy. The initial purchase of Happy Hills comes with the complete grassland region which includes 48 levels, and coinciding with the release of the game, you have the ability to purchase an in game add-on pack that will add the desert region and 48 additional levels. Dreamfab has announced that additional level packs with new block types are in development with a target date of October and November for release.
Map of the Happy Hills world
While playing through Happy Hills, it really was tough to find anything about the gameplay that I didn’t like. The only real knock that I have with overall game is the choice of background music. Shortly into playing the game, I found the music to be repetitive and annoying which led me to pressing the mute button. I am sure there are some that will find the music tolerable and likely even enjoyable, however it was just not doing it for me. As mentioned, overall this is a minor complaint and in no way affects the gameplay or fun that Happy Hills has to offer.
Overall, Happy Hills provides gamers with a fun, addictive gaming experience. The overall flow and gameplay of Happy Hills feels like Angry Birds and is just as addictive. The levels can be both easy and challenging depending on if you simply want to ‘get by’ or try and earn all of the starts and a perfect rating. At a cost of $3.99 for Mac and only $0.99 for iOS it is well worth the cost for a fun gaming experiencing, with new additional content right around the corner. I am giving Happy Hills an EB 8.5 out of 10 Buddhas and highly recommend that you give it a download as you will not be disappointed.
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