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E3 2013: Hohokum

Posted on June 14, 2013 AT 12:15pm

Publisher Sony Computer Entertainment
Developer Richard Hogg, Honeyslug
Platform PS4, PS3, Vita
Release Date 2014
Not sure what any of this stuff means? Head on over to our E3 hub for all the deets.

The Rundown

Hohokum is the sort of nonconventional game you’d expect to see a lot more of if hippie communes had electricity. There’s no real end game or goal, no score meter, no fail state, and really no win state, either. You’re just a multicolored snake-like creature that flies around, exploring visually rich environments and interacting with the objects he comes across.

The Verdict

At first, I didn’t really know how to feel about Hohokum, because it’s so far beyond the sort of game you’d expect to see being touted at E3 by one of the big three console developers. Yes, Sony has a history of supporting experimental indie developers like thatgamecompany, but for as different as they were, Journey and Flower still had pretty conventional structures, with concrete objectives and destinations.

Hohokum is more like an interactive haiku. You explore a level, discover what you can interact with, and generally tinker around in the two-dimensional sandbox. You might be able to complete minor objectives, like picking up people to ride on your back and flying them around so they can plant trees, but your reward is visual and musical—it’s not any sort of progression in the traditional sense.

But you know, for as perplexing as my hands-on time was, I was genuinely sad when I had to stop playing. Flying around, mashing the R2 and L2 to wiggle my little snake-thing up to top speeds, and bumping into trees and platforms to see if I could change anything was relaxing, and the art style and music were immensely inviting, drawing me into the game’s charming world. So while I may not be sure exactly what Hohokum is, I’m certain I want to see more of it, and that’s got to count for something.

Josh Harmon, Associate Editor
Josh Harmon picked up a controller when he was 3 years old—and he hasn't looked back since. This has made him particularly vulnerable to attacks from behind. He joined EGM as an intern following a brief-but-storied career on a number of small gaming blogs across the Internet. Follow him on Twitter @jorshy. Meet the rest of the crew.

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