There’s a current trend for Turtles. A certain chelonian foursome have two new games out lately but that’s not to say that Holmade Games are jumping on any bandwagons here, far from it. Hurdle Turtle has previous with the first game being out for just over a year and Celebrations being released a few weeks ago, this all-new Hurdle Turtle has a few more features tucked under that lithe, shiny shell.
The first game in this series was a hark back to the 8-bit retro games of old where the emphasis was on instant pick up gameplay and functional graphics. Thankfully this formula hasn’t changed at all, with a simple, retro feel to the entire experience. The graphics are a faithful representation of the type you would have got from the likes of the Amstrad and Commodore early home computers. That, if you didn’t know me by now, is right up my street. There’s a lot to be admired for taking such a bold approach to deliberately keep the visuals to this level. It looks great, without giving too many surprises away, the new obstacles look well drawn too.
What will really blow you away is the game’s speed. The premise is simple. Hurdle has a map to navigate and each playable location on the map gives you a linear course for Hurdle to run along. It looks like these courses are looked after by your local council though, as they are littered with obstacles. If Hurdle hits one of these obstacles he, or she, will lose a life. The more obstacles you jump over, the more points you’ll score. Beware, though, there are some obstacles that you cannot jump over, so you’ll have to move lanes in order to avoid them. At periods throughout these courses the speed of the obstacles coming at you increases and it does get very fast. You’ll need speedy reflexes in order to get Hurdle home safely, ready for the next location.
One criticism of the first game was that it felt a little samey and this has been addressed by the addition of new underwater levels. The gameplay changes slightly here, with Hurdle gaining points for jumping out of the water and through hoops, or swimming through the hoops in the water. Avoid the nasty jellyfish and snapping fish though, they’ll take your life and your life is precious. The new levels would be great, just on their own, but throw in that fact that you can race along with 3 friends to the mix and you have a winner. The sound effects are pretty standard for a retro game, but the chip-tune music is something else. This is composed by Octapus and got my foot tapping to its 8-bit beat, as if by some kind of strange blippy voodoo. Just like the first Hurdle Turtle, this proper sequel is a great little game. It’s all packed into a nice small download and being currently only 69p, this has to represent a bargain, an Indie must-buy, especially if you have young children. The ease of play and retro graphics, coupled with the chip-tune retro soundtrack all marry together in a chelonian party that everyone should want to attend. Go and grab it, you won’t be sorry.