Eight years after its playstation debut, Hohokum is no longer a Sony exclusive and arrives on PC thanks to the distribution signed by Annapurna
review: The former PlayStation exclusive on PC, and it's art straight away">
In 1964, George Banks bought paper and string for two pennies to make a kite. For an ancient and solemn banker he represented the epiphany of happiness, carried by that triangle that fluttered in the sky. Where everything is blue. The film we are talking about is clearly Mary Poppins, who in the sixties drew the parable of a gloomy family towards serenity, ready to take flight with that kite refitted by George Banks. The same kite that Richard Hogg decided to use in 2014 as a metaphor for his artistic path in the elaboration of his concept of harmony. Eight years after its PlayStation console debut, Hohokum also arrives on PC thanks to Annapurna and tries to find new life in a time when we are much more sensitive to the concept of video-art (in this regard, have you read our special on the PLAY exhibition at the Reggia di Venaria?).
The dream of the kite
Developed by Honeyslug under the supervision of Santa Monica, the studio that for years has linked its name to God of War, but also to more dreamlike experiences such as Flower and Journey, Hohokum tells the journey of a slender, threadlike beingwhich in appearance and movement brings to mind a kite.
With its triangular shape, which can be modulated thanks to the speed with which you move along the scenery, and with a very long tail that recalls the thread to be held firmly in your hands to prevent the object from getting lost in the clouds, the Hohokum’s protagonist has only one mission: track down his fellow men in the different environments to be explored and then lead them to a sort of portal, towards new horizons. The places where you will find yourself wandering, in an explosion of colors and in a kaleidoscope of contents, are all mostly surreal, yet able to consistently mark our journey with both music and images. If at the beginning to reunite with your fellowmen it will be enough for you to collide with some discs capable of emitting sounds on impact, soon you will find yourself in a larger and more developed world in vertical, in which some settlers are cultivating the land. You will be able to collect certain fruits that will change the color of the place, pushing all the inhabitants into an environment with a bluish palette; or you’ll have to help a fisherman to track down the little mermaid that you are looking for so much, or you will still have to give life to sunflowers whose disc must be reached avoiding the collision with the petals: all by simply touching the objectives during your fluttering in total serenity.
Full freedom, full perceptions
The adventure is set in an open world conformation that allows us to have total freedom within the proposed scenarios, giving us that illusion of being able to color and give life to the world in any desired corner.
Even if the primary objective asks us to recover our fellow men, on the other hand nothing prevents us from fluttering freely in the air, increasing or decreasing our speed, in pursuit of a rhythm and a musical inspiration that can give us a moment. of spiritual peace, thanks to the sinuous curve reconstructed by the protagonist. Hohokum, after all, does not impose any hurry, nor will it make sure that you can have it: it is an experience to be enjoyed calmly, as it was eight years ago, with the aim of immersing yourself in an almost meditative video game journey. At the beginning we referred to the protagonist defining him similar to a kite, because this is the perception we had in approaching Hohokum eight years after the first time, yet it is to underline the complete freedom of interpretation that Richard Hogg chooses to convey. with his adventure. It could be anything that being that sinuously slips into our scenarios and that ends up giving shape to chameleonic compositions when it intertwines with his fellow creatures, all controlled by our controller. Between colors and shapes, Hohokum it almost embraces synaesthesia, so dear to developers inclined to the so-called “video-art”, as indeed Tetsuya Mizuguchi himself had tried to do with Rez, inspired and dedicated to the figure of Vassily Kandinskij. The synaesthetic effect can in fact be found in the connection that the harmonies create as we pass over certain objects, composing a balance between sounds and colors.
Basic, but intricate
With a basic gameplay, deliberately reduced to the bone, you will be able to perform circular stunts using the backbones. In the absence of the DualShock 4 touchpad you will not be able, as it happened eight years ago, to trace the trajectory of your kite using a finger, but it is a feature that we have not felt the lack of, on the contrary: to have complete mastery of the movements with the two analog sticks proved much more satisfying. Moving from one world to another will therefore prove to be intuitive and immediate, even if it is still necessary to consider that Hohokum has not corrected its basic criticalities. The title, in fact, while attesting to a longevity of just over three hours, it ends up giving shape to a rather intricate experience after just a few minutes.
After passing the initial hub, you will find yourself entangled in a very structured branching, unable to give you a very specific reference on where you are going and on way to go back. The risk is therefore to make the adventure approximate in some environments and rather verbose in others. Among other things, since Hohokum is all based on the perception of what surrounds us and on a very imaginative understanding of the proposed puzzles, you could also wander around in circles for a good amount of time, a factor that threatens the feeling of calmness proposed by the game. It is not excluded that some players may in short decide to give up and put down the controller, with all due respect to the visual component.
Also and above all for this reason Hohokum must be taken for what it is: an artistic product that exploits interactivity to achieve its end. In the work you just have to live a dream experience accompanied by variations of colors obtained according to the movement of our kite, with a psychedelic effect that remains fascinating. Because even though eight years have passed, Hohokum remains a timeless product.
HohokumPC Analyzed VersionToday, like yesterday, Hohokum remains an experience not accessible to everyone. The choice of its creator is evident: to give a few hours of serenity to those who live this adventure. Between puzzles and interactive elements with which to compose your melody, in an explosion of colors and visionary, Hohokum is a break from the typified world of video games, and undoubtedly deserves an opportunity for anyone who loves to peep into expressions. artistic characteristics of the interactive medium.