Hungry Giraffe

A certain majestic feel.

By Daavpuke, Posted 02 Mar 2012

Here’s one of those games that can be summarized in one succinct line. Hungry Giraffe is a game about a hungry giraffe; end of review. For posterity, let’s elaborate. The game uses this framing device to set up gameplay based on skill and momentum. By eating a set of 3 foods and evading hazardous items, players will want to make the longneck reach new unseen heights.

The charm of Hungry Giraffe lies within its endearing presentation and simplicity. Just like its mechanisms, the game’s outlook is as simple as it is effective. The giraffe neck extends endlessly, as long as food goes in and the colorful vomit splurges and pill popping trips add a humorous touch. In addition, a background track of classical music has a certain majestic feel when rising above the clouds and into space. It’s a shame that the game switches to a more minimal cartoonlike sound from time, but even the sound effects have that quirky tone, so it fits the theme like a glove.

Hungry Giraffe - NoobFeed Review
Basically the entire game. Eat stuff. Don't die.

It pretty much has all been said already, so let’s dig deeper into the game. There are 3 different types of eatable food, as well as a set of different nefarious items. By eating fruits and the likes, our giraffe neck extends to reach for even more food. But HG (Hungry Giraffe) doesn’t like fruit; HG wants burgers! Therefore, eating higher calorie foods give a larger momentum boost. The goal is merely to get as much eaten as possible and not fall down.

Momentum can be lost by hitting anvils, eating dumbbells or not eating food. Additionally, poison makes our giraffe barf in Technicolor and pills reverses controls in bat country. These things will hamper movement and eventually lead to the giraffe head crashing down from the heavens, leading to a game’s end. Luckily, there are also hard hats and spicy peppers that help cut through the scattered items.

As the giraffe eats more, it will reach higher stages, until eventually looping around. Each level has its own placement of items and as the heavens get reached, so too will food become more scarce and obstacles harder. The goal here is not to eat all the food on the screen, but merely finding the most lucrative path as fatter foods give a higher score. Luckily, the game makes excellent use of placement and after some pattern recognition; it will lead players to weave in the appropriate places.

Hungry Giraffe - NoobFeed Review
The effects of feeding a giraffe peppers.

Not so luckily, some places will still be somewhat of a challenge and the game has a fairly dead hit when it comes to error. Losing momentum, certainly in later levels is a death sentence more than half of the time. Hungry Giraffe has little room for error and in space there are no saving graces. This can become quite bothersome, as even glorious runs can seem to get cut down before their time, due to one small calculation error. Hit zones for items are a bit vague on that part.

This, combined with the relative shortness of the game, can put a strain on the replay factor that is the key element of this game. Going through 10 stages can be done in as much as an hour and from there on it’s nothing more than beating the old high score. Additionally, the pattern recognition will start doubling up as a double-edged sword, because it’s starts becoming duller to revisit known areas. Luckily, the game rotates these at random when playing and replaying, but the main patterns will always remain the same.

Hungry Giraffe is a whimsical pastime; nothing more and nothing less. It has a simple and effective mechanic that is worth revisiting from time to time, but it won’t reach new heights in gaming either. Fans of high score increasing and casual skills will certainly enjoy the endearing qualities of this mini title. Just don’t ever play the game when hungry, because envy is a sin.

Daav Valentaten, NoobFeed. (@Daavpuke)

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General Information

Platform(s): PS3
Publisher(s): Laughing Jackal
Developer(s): Laughing Jackal
Genres: Action
Themes: Action
Release Date: 2012-02-01

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