We do love a new take on puzzling here at Switch Player.
Hoggy2 is a sequel to an iOS original, which takes the jars from Super Mario Bros 2 – you know, the ones you had to enter to retrieve a key to open a nearby door while Phanto, a demonic-looking face, hunted you down – and makes an entire game out of them. You have to enter a labyrinth full of the jars and retrieve keys by manoeuvring your pink blob character into collecting all of the fruit littered around the jar.
An alien race called the Moon Men have taken all of Hoggy and his friend/girlfriend Hogatha’s children, and the Moon Men provide the boss stages which break up all of the jar-entering. Jars in each section of the game can be entered in whatever order you like, with longer jars usually signifying levels with a longer challenge, and vice-versa. Get enough keys and you can move onto the next section.
Hoggy2’s controls are particularly simple, and are limited to hitting the A button to jump from the bottom of the screen to the top, and back again. It’s surprising just how varied the puzzling can therefore get. Some blocks in the levels can be moved by either jumping into them from above or below, or by pushing them from side to side, and therefore a lot of the level is malleable as you seek to create routes to access blocked-off fruit. Other blocks are laced with bombs, meaning they’ll blow if you or an enemy crashes into them, while some enemies can chase you down or fire projectiles towards you to make your job that little bit harder.
More tricky obstacles include the circular saw, which will fly in your direction as soon as you cross its path either up/down or side-to-side, and the more challenging levels will require players to find a way to guide the saws into destroying a particular block to access the fruit behind it, and to do so carefully, as one wrong move will have it collide with a bomb block and get blown into smithereens and force you to restart the level to get the saw back again.
Power-ups level the playing field a little bit. Eating an acorn will turn Hoggy or Hogatha into a hard, square block, which can roll around and smash the first block or enemy it comes into contact with. Eating a pepper sets the protagonists alight, and they can destroy as many blocks – this time including bomb blocks – as they can come into contact with, drastically opening up the level. You’ll need to find a water tap to put Hoggy out before collecting any fruit though, as not doing so will burn the fruit and result in an immediate fail of the level.
The formula is added to throughout the game to make more complex levels towards the end, and to be fair Hoggy2 can be described as one of the Switch’s better puzzlers of this kind. It may not set the world alight, but there are a heck of a lot of levels here – over 200 of them, so the game will keep you going for a good while. It’s a moreish puzzler, which is a sign of the good ones; it’s an eShop title worth having on your Switch for those shorter commutes and car journeys.
Hoggy2 is a fun little platformer which works well on its simple premise. At an affordable price, it’s worth the plunge.