Hungry Giraffe has a very simple premise. Basically, it’s about a hungry giraffe with an endlessly extendable neck. Your goal is to, by eating food, propel this giraffe above the jungle and beyond, into space. Much like the premise, the game itself is rather simple and basic, following the same few mechanics throughout with several different background themes.
With each piece of food eaten – whether it be a fruit, burger, chips or other form of fast food – the titular giraffe will propel itself further up the screen; missing a piece of food will slow your momentum, leading to the giraffe falling back on itself in an odd, neck-breaking way; only to be saved with the use of a certain item or a quick food combo to increase the giraffe’s velocity.
Using the left stick to move, you’ll have to aim the giraffes head at the food and away from the obstacles (which essentially consist of floating anvils that will make you fall straight down) to succeed. In the earlier levels, food will be abundant, though as you progress this food will become more scarce and, with it, the anvils will take up much more screen space.[drop]As well as the anvils you have to avoid, there are a few other things that, though not as dangerous, you’ll have to steer clear of: pills, which confuse you, flipping the controls and distorting the screen, with the colours becoming much more intense and rainbow-like; poison, which will make the giraffe throw up vibrantly coloured vomit, covering the screen and making it harder for you to progress; and dumbbells, which weigh you down, making the giraffe fall faster.
Though these obstacles are implemented rather well, they do lack variety and soon become repetitive. Sadly this criticism can be levelled at much of the game, with many elements being shared between levels.
As well as objects that hinder your progress and the food the giraffe will consume, there are a few collectibles that can help you reach new heights, such as chillis which speed you up, breaking through obstacles as you go, and hardhats, which essentially do the same thing but can be used when you please with a tap of the X button.
There a total of ten stages in Hungry Giraffe, which effectively act as checkpoints as you’re able to travel through levels seamlessly as your high score accumulates. Whilst these stages do have different backgrounds and the patterns are randomised, each section of food and obstacles stay the same, so you’ll no doubt start to see some form of repetition in the way the levels are laid out.
Hungry Giraffe would be brilliant if it were a fuller game rather than the small minis title that it is – leaderboards, co-op, more themes across the levels, as well as less repetition and some new scoring options such as multipliers for the food consumed. Unfortunately, it’s a very simple, albeit well executed, idea that could have been so much more.
The awards do add another layer to the game, acting similarly to achievements or trophies. So, as well as replaying to pass your high scores, you’ll also be aiming towards the next award, though there is little actual reward for collecting these. This, it seems, is the point of Hungry Giraffe; aiming to beat a high score you’ve already set.
It’s a good looking minis title, however, with vibrant colours, 3D graphics and some nice semi-dynamic backgrounds which change as you progress through the stages and higher into the sky. The menus flow rather nicely and the game is backed up with some suitable orchestral music and joyous sound effects.
- Well designed, unique game with a novel idea at its core.
- Whilst simple, it works very well.
- High scores to beat and awards to collect.
- Progression through stages is seamless and effectively makes the game endless.
- It would be much better as a non-minis title with leaderboards and less repetition.
- Obstacles soon become repetitive, along with the patterns you’ll begin to see.
- It can be rather too simple at points.
Hungry Giraffe is a fun game. It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it’s a compulsive, replayable game in which you’ll always be aiming to beat your high score. If it were an expanded game, it would be much better, though for what it is – a minis title – it manages to do what it set out to.