Game Design, Game Reviews

Game Review: Haberdashery – A Pleasant Surprise

haber_icon‘I love it when a plan comes together’. Those must have been the words of boys and girls in the Luna Wolf Studios after they had completed Haberdashery.

Available on Google PlayAvailable on iTunesAnd what was their plan, you might ask? To make a hilarious and addicting game I guess, as that’s what they ended up with, anyway. And what better way to start building a hilarious game than to make a sheep your main protagonist?

Haberdashery is a free running 360-degree game in which a sheep is being chased by a dragon. The dragon, however, can never catch you, unless you hit an obstacle along the way.

What a pleasant surprise

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The game does not lack humour

The first pleasant surprise was the environment – the sheep is running across something that resembles the planet from The Little Prince – a tiny speck of land filled with trees, stones, and other similar obstacles. I loved the way new obstacles appeared on the horizon, very clever.

The second pleasant surprise were the hats you collect along the way, and the way they change your game completely. Some hats will give you certain powers (like ramming through trees), while others will completely change the planet you’re running across. With a total of 30 hats in the game, that makes for a rich and engaging gaming experience.

The LOL is strong with this one

denis sazhin

Something along these lines, anyway Credit: denis sazhin

The third pleasant surprise was the amount of quality humour in the game. Each hat is hilariously crafted, brings fun changes to the game and is, without exception, followed up by a great comment. So for example, picking up the Emo hat will: 1) place some hair at the top of your screen, partially blocking your view; 2) add a black layer across the world; 3) add a “nowBaahdy understands me” message, which I found quite amusing and 4) the music changed to something that reminded me of Alice in Chains. If that was the developers’ intention then these guys win at life.

The fourth pleasant surprise came in a fact that not all of these hats were available right off the bat. You start with a total of four, and need to collect coins to invest and unlock new content. That’s a great way to keep players motivated and engaged in the game. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the Hellraiser hat! I also liked the fact that you could buy coins for real cash through the store, in case you aren’t the patient type. The game is free to play, after all.

Gamble away

The fifth pleasant surprise was the addition of the slot machine mini-game. The slot-machine lets you win extra hats, however the feature was locked for me, with no explanation as to how I can unlock it. It took me a few minutes to find that you actually need 100 gold to play the mini-game.

The sixth pleasant surprise was the music. Audio is extremely important as it sets the tone (no pun intended) for the entire game, and missing the point with music can ruin the complete game experience. Haberdashery is spot on with the high-tempo, cheerful banjo song. Of course, the music will also change with certain hats, just adding to the list of reasons why you should try to collect all of them.

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I really need the Hellraiser hat

What I disliked about the game (yes, that happened, too) was the placement of the message that pops up when you pick up a hat. It basically covers the entire upper side of your screen, exactly the place where you look for incoming obstacles. That means that sometimes you’ll lose the game as you failed to see an obstacle because there was this huge “TO WALHALLAAAAA” message across the screen. Fitting!

After spending a couple of hours with the game, I can understand why it has a 4.8 overall on Google Play Store and why the reviews there usually end with an exclamation mark. I see a bright future ahead of the hat-wearing, banjo-playing humorous sheep.

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