Browsing through the Google play store yesterday I came across a game with an intriguing name. The title in question is Journey of HaHa, developed by Tau Ceti Software. Here’s the thing…this game isn’t a joke. It’s seriously good.
This top down puzzle solver sees you adopt the role of the story’s heroine: HaHa. And before you ask, that really is her name! The game is set in a tower which is made up of over 50 puzzle rooms over 8 floors. The puzzles start out quite simply. You have a few basic power ups which can be gathered and used within the room. Frostbolt for example has two charges which need to be deployed strategically to avoid failure. It becomes clear very quickly that once you mess up, there’s no turning back and the only option is the reset button. Power ups can be used to cross water, freeze enemies, allowing them to be pushed into favourable positions, or can be used simply to destroy a foe.
Speaking of enemies, this game has distanced itself from the usual fight or die situation you are frequently faced with. In Journey of HaHa, enemies are actually used as part of the puzzle solving. Take the Squidrooms for example. These jellyfish like beasts become active once you take your first step and immediately begin seeking you out. They don’t hurt, but will stop once they reach you, lodging themselves firmly in the ground potentially ruining all you careful planning. Other enemies like the Fire Oracle, Boom Skull or Cannon require careful management if you are to survive.
The puzzles themselves are actually very challenging and become more so as you progress through the tower. I have lost count of the amount of times I have shouted ‘FUCK YOU’ on the train today because I pushed a block too far, a cannon obliterated me on the final stretch, or a Squidroom locked me in. One thing with this game is that if you enjoy challenging puzzlers, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
The graphics are really quite nice. Journey of HaHa has adopted a very SNES feeling artistic style, reminiscent of Secret of Mana or Beyond Oasis. The top down view makes navigation easy and the controls, if a little on the sketchy side, are good enough. One thing I have loved about this game is the single, repeating song on the ‘soundtrack’. It is simply brilliant. A classic. It is so catchy that you will find yourself humming it out loud in public.
Another really nice feature is the help menu which covers any question you might have. It is a good idea to have a read before you go Leeroying into a room.
Overall, I am so glad I took a punt on this game. For £1.59 you get a lot of bang for your back and I can’t think of a puzzler that I have played recently which I have enjoyed as much as this. I would strongly recommend getting Journey of HaHa. It is a new title for 2017 and only has a few hundred downloads so far. It is the indie developers of these kinds of games that need your support more than anyone and for the same price as a bottle of water you can get hours of great gaming.