Move over Hippos and Caterpillars, there is a new hungry animal in town.
Laughing Jackal, the developers of Hungry Giraffe, seem to be onto a good thing. A game such as Hungry Giraffe may well seem better suited to the casual audience of iOS devices. However, with the relative lack of retail releases on the PSP now, Minis are about all the die-hard PSP owners have to look forward to – and for that, we thank them. The fact that the game is also pretty damn good comes as a bonus.
Simple yet addictive games are littered across the App Store, but on the PSP they are few and far between. The concept of Hungry Giraffe is quite simple – the player has to keep eating in order to make their Giraffe climb higher and higher into the sky. I am not entirely sure that constantly feeding a Giraffe would cause their neck to extend into space, it is more likely that they would just get fat and have trouble moving around. But hey, I don’t have a problem with leaving reality behind in the name of video games. After all, not all games can be about birds catapulting themselves at structures built by militant pigs, can they…
So, our Giraffe friend needs to keep eating in order to rise, and the goal is to get as high as possible. It is a concept that we have seen before, but perhaps never with so much charisma. They very fact that this is such a ludicrous situation for a Giraffe to be in, keeps the whole situation very tongue-in-cheek whilst the player struggles against the odds to beat their high score. The entire game is very good looking and easy to enjoy.
As the player controls the Giraffe’s head, they will find themselves coming across all manner of food stuffs to keep him climbing. To begin with, these foods will consist of items which you would not be surprised to see in a Giraffe’s diet. But before long, our gluttonous Giraffe seems to succumb to a more unhealthy fast food diet, not that it seems to have any ill effects. Failure to continuously eat will be rewarded with the Giraffe’s head falling towards the bottom of the screen, and once it reaches the bottom, it is game over.
Anyone who is especially tall will be able to tell you that it is important to keep an eye on what is above you. Whilst door frames don’t play any part in Hungry Giraffe, there is a constant flow of Anvils which will prevent your progress. There are also plenty of items that the Giraffe should not eat (but fast food is okay?!?) such as dumbbells which predictably weigh down the Giraffe, or poisonous vials that will have the poor Giraffe vomit all over the screen.
Some of the foods will have a positive effect on our Giraffe’s rise to the heavens. Chillis, for example, provide a much needed boost. There are also the hard hats which can be collected and used to protect your Giraffe’s noggin.
Hungry Giraffe is one of those games that will only end when your either lose or quit. Once you have progressed through all of the different atmospheric levels, the game will just cycle around again, allowing the player to just continue to play until their thumbs bleed, if they so wish. But the reality is that the game is quite challenging, so reaching that level of excellence will take the average player a fair while.
Hungry Giraffe is most certainly a one trick pony – once you have played for five minutes, you really have seen all that the game has to offer. But if you have enjoyed those five minutes, and we would wager that you will, then playing for another hour or two will be equally as enjoyable. This is a casual game that requires quick reflexes and a certain amount of planning, and as such the player will improve the more they play it, which will keep them coming back to beat their high scores. It is very simple, but sometimes simple is nice and, in this case anyway, a whole lot of fun.