If there’s one adjective I wasn’t expecting to use when describing a game with a title as innocent and simple as “Hungry Giraffe”, it’s “thrilling”. However, several hours of play-time later, I can honestly say that it’s been a while since a game so simple has had me hooked in such a way.
Hungry Giraffe couldn’t have a simpler premise. You’re a giraffe. You’re hungry. Go eat something. You do this by craning your constantly elongating neck (giraffe’s can do that, right?) towards the sky and devouring any nearby foodstuffs. The air is littered with fast food, fruit and sandwiches, making it a bountiful feast for any peckish giant mammal. The more you eat, the faster you climb until you leave the atmosphere and enjoy what I can only presume are endless tons of snacks orbiting the Earth.
The challenge comes from controlling your climb. While long, giraffe necks aren’t very sturdy and your head flops about as you wrangle it towards the nearest morsel of food. Go more than a second or two without eating anything and you’ll droop towards the bottom of the screen, where a presumably belly-rumbling end awaits. In addition to the constant threat of falling, there are obstacles to slow your progress. Anvils block the path and eating a dumbbell understandably weighs you down. There are also pills that reverse the controls (and kick off some trippy effects) for a moment, poison bottles that make you puke colour all over the screen and chilli-peppers that give you a fiery boost. You can also pick up hard hats that give you a last-minute pick me up when you’re in trouble.
Visually, Hungry Giraffe serves as a perfect reminder that a bit of character and humour goes a long way. Colourful backdrops that progress from the jungle canopy to the reaches of outer space add some variety but you’ll spend most of your time starting into your giraffe’s eyes and hunting for the next bite to eat.
As seems to be a trend with many low-budget minis, the music suffers. The looping selection of out-of-copyright tunes had me muting the sound in favour of my own tunes in a matter of minutes. The frugal option is understandable but doesn’t detract from how annoying it is.
For a cheap, casual game, Hungry Giraffe is pretty much perfect. Its simple, addictive gameplay doesn’t hold any surprises but you can still lose hours in it.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation Vita code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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