Jun 19, 2014
Often videogames get criticized for retreading old ground. People will complain that ‘they’ve played it before’ but sometimes revisiting old ideas that you get new ones. Hazumino goes back in time to visit both Tetris and Canabalt and by doing so comes back with something new yet reassuringly familiar.
The reason that Hazumino‘s goal will be instantly clear is because of the world famous shapes that occupy the right-hand side of the screen. These ‘tetrominos’ need to be rotated and shifted up and down before being launched to the right. The reason why you’re placing these shapes is because you need to form a bridge of sorts.
This bridge is needed to help out your character who will keep walking forward with no regard to the fact that sometimes there’s no floor to walk onto. This is where the Canabalt ‘infinite runner’ influence is seen. You need to be sure to place your blocks carefully as your character doesn’t take kindly to walking into walls that you may end up creating if you’re not paying attention. Equally as negative is launching a shape directly into the face of your avatar. Both scenarios will see your end run.
As is the way when dealing with two tasks at once, sometimes you’ll be too busy concentrating on placing your shapes correctly that you’ll forget to jump any gaps or hop onto any ledges your previous shapes may have made. Equally, if you’re too focused on hopping about and navigating your homemade platforms you’ll soon run out of platforms entirely.
On top of this basic desire to survive, there are also coins randomly dotted along your linear journey. These coins are smartly placed at different heights. This means that you’ll want to place your blocks in a ‘stepped’ manner so you can reach the higher coins or you’ll be trying to create a slide made of right-angles to reach those placed lower.
These simple mechanics are supported by some charming and blocky visuals. This game’s audio, with quite a thumping soundtrack also aids the game in standing above its competitors.
As with any good mobile game there needs to be a hook to keep you coming back. Of course there’s the obligatory high scores to beat but there’s also a decent amount to unlock too.
Extra characters, though they do nothing, add an extra incentive to keep playing and give you a reason to collect the previously mentioned coins. You can also unlock new stages to run forward in and these are unlocked by reaching accumilative distance milestones. Like everything else in Hazumino the stages add to the experience. The early stages will help you see where your shapes are about to be placed by drawing helpful lines whilst the later stages will speed up and contain distracting backgrounds. It’s simple but it’s these slight changes in what the game throws at you that keep you interested.
Hazumino manages to combine two ideas extremely well and carries on to provide enough content to keep you entertained beyond what you’d imagine a Tetris and Canabalt combination could provide.