hiI've been slowly playing through Dr. Fun Fun's Hi, How Are You [App Store] since it came out nearly two weeks ago now, completely unaware of the phenomenon that is Daniel Johnston. I originally intended on writing about this game because I hadn't seen another cell shaded platformer on the App Store. However, after doing some research on the history of Hi, How Are You's development, I got turned on to the world of Daniel Johnston and quickly became aware that this is Johnston's life of art and music distilled into a iPhone game.

The premise of Hi, How Are You follows the theme of most of Johnston's music in that you're battling the forces of Satan to find love. Playing as Jeremiah the Innocent, you will make your way through over 25 levels to remove the curse of Satan. As the game progresses, you slowly change from a frog, to a block, to a ball, and finally back to human form.

012358

Your movement in the game is controlled using the accelerometer and the two stop signs in both lower corners of the screen instantly stops your character from moving. Initially this seemed like such an odd set of buttons to have cluttering the screen, but it didn't take long for this seemingly strange control element to really grow on me as you never need to worry about finding the exact center of where you calibrated the accelerometer to in order to stay in place.

Instead, you hold the stop button, tilt the direction you want to move, let go, and you're off. This control method allows you to navigate the different obstacles in game with ease. The camera can be panned right of left by pressing either side of the screen, and to zoom out you press both sides at once.

012358_2Completing the levels in game involves hopping over every tile, turning them green, then finding the exit. It's not that easy though, as you quickly come across all kinds of obstacles, moving platforms, and other puzzles. The bottom of the screen displays your life, along with the time, the number of tiles left to turn green, and the number of bonus tiles on the level to be turned red. While each level is timed, you can keep playing and complete each level even if you run out of time, you just won't be awarded for beating the clock.

Hi, How Are You has a soundtrack featuring several of Daniel Johnston's songs, and an art style matching Johnston's drawings. The difficulty ramps up nicely, and with each achievement you unlock a unique piece of artwork to view. I had fun playing the game, but after doing some reading on the life of Daniel Johnston, Hi, How Are You has taken on a whole new layer of awesome. Dr. Fun Fun not only created a game with a neat style that's fun to play for people who have never heard of Johnston, but also an amazing piece of fan service for those who have.

If you'd like to know more about the world of Daniel Johnston, he has his own Wikipedia article, and his life is detailed in the 2005 documentary, The Devil and Daniel Johnston which is available on iTunes along with all of his music and several music videos.

Hi, How Are You is a fun platform puzzle game with a unique art style. If you're not a fan of Daniel Johnston, playing through this game might just make you become one.

App Store Link: Hi, How Are You, $2.99

TouchArcade Rating

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  • betheone

    GReat game a must BUY!

  • betheone

    GReat game a must BUY!

  • Jim

    I recommend the documentary if you like feeling awkward.

  • Jim

    I recommend the documentary if you like feeling awkward.

  • Skey

    What the-? I just decided to buy it but after clicking the link I saw the price: 2,39€ :(

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Looks like the price went up. It's been selling very well, so I'm not surprised. It's definitely worth it at that price (says the guy who snagged it at $.99 ;))

  • Skey

    What the-? I just decided to buy it but after clicking the link I saw the price: 2,39€ :(

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Looks like the price went up. It\'s been selling very well, so I'm not surprised. It's definitely worth it at that price (says the guy who snagged it at $.99 ;))

  • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

    Thanks for giving "Hi, how are you" some love, Eli. I know Daniel Johnston more an influential figure of many of my favorite bands (Pavement, Guided by Voices), so it was great to become reacquainted with his music through the game. It should be stressed, though, that "Hi, how are you" is first and foremost a quirky, polished, and really fun platformer.

    There's an alternate d-pad control scheme, by the way, which is also well implemented.

  • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

    Thanks for giving "Hi, how are you" some love, Eli. I know Daniel Johnston more an influential figure of many of my favorite bands (Pavement, Guided by Voices), so it was great to become reacquainted with his music through the game. It should be stressed, though, that "Hi, how are you" is first and foremost a quirky, polished, and really fun platformer.

    There's an alternate d-pad control scheme, by the way, which is also well implemented.

  • Bad Hanson

    Somehow managed to miss this one, shame it's gone up to $3 now as I surely would have got this. Was there any proper kind of heads up when this came out?...I can't reconcile paying three times the ammount it cost yesterday. Some you win some you lose. It's been a quiet few days, hopefully something truly kickass will get released soon.

    • mat

      yes there has been a thread! but they often diappear like..you know :D

  • Bad Hanson

    Somehow managed to miss this one, shame it's gone up to $3 now as I surely would have got this. Was there any proper kind of heads up when this came out?...I can't reconcile paying three times the ammount it cost yesterday. Some you win some you lose. It's been a quiet few days, hopefully something truly kickass will get released soon.

    • mat

      yes there has been a thread! but they often diappear like..you know :D

  • Colbertj

    Would have bought it for a buck, but not anymore. Run another sale and SOLD!

  • Colbertj

    Would have bought it for a buck, but not anymore. Run another sale and SOLD!

  • Robin

    Same feelings as Bad Hanson -- and it isn't 3x from yesterday -- ten minutes after you posted the price went up. It was 99 cents when I went to purchase (and it said hurry, today's the last day for the sale) and I got the dreaded "try again later"- seconds later it was $2.99. Oh well, sounded neat but gee when the "last day of the sale" ends at 10:40 a.m. it leaves a unpleasant taste.

    • hotwheels82

      FYI...the "last day of the sale" notice was posted at least as early as Saturday (when I bought it for 99 cents - whoopee!!). It's well worth the new price so just try to pretend it's a cheap cup of Starbucks and enjoy! :)

      For those who aren't familiar with DJ, check out the fan site. He's quite the interesting character: http://www.rejectedunknown.com/multimedia/video/video.htm

  • Robin

    Same feelings as Bad Hanson -- and it isn't 3x from yesterday -- ten minutes after you posted the price went up. It was 99 cents when I went to purchase (and it said hurry, today's the last day for the sale) and I got the dreaded "try again later"- seconds later it was $2.99. Oh well, sounded neat but gee when the "last day of the sale" ends at 10:40 a.m. it leaves a unpleasant taste.

    • hotwheels82

      FYI...the "last day of the sale" notice was posted at least as early as Saturday (when I bought it for 99 cents - whoopee!!). It's well worth the new price so just try to pretend it's a cheap cup of Starbucks and enjoy! :)

      For those who aren't familiar with DJ, check out the fan site. He's quite the interesting character: http://www.rejectedunknown.com/multimedia/video/video.htm

  • mrbass

    He is a maniac depressive which I think Mike Tyson was diagnosed with too but perhaps to a less extent. For someone who is dealt that in life he sure has made the most of it and doesn't let anything hold him back. Daniel is quite the inspiration and more power to him.

  • mrbass

    He is a maniac depressive which I think Mike Tyson was diagnosed with too but perhaps to a less extent. For someone who is dealt that in life he sure has made the most of it and doesn't let anything hold him back. Daniel is quite the inspiration and more power to him.

  • kalel39

    Wow what a d**k move and raise the price from .99 to 2.99 today, Oct. 6th.
    PASS.

    • timeismoney

      hey, just bought a coffee for $3.50 and the game for $3. The coffee was done in about 20 min, but I'm still tryin to get through the game. $3 is still less than I pay for about, oh, everything. wish I found it on sale, but it is well worth the price. very polished, excellent control, and challenging enough to not loose interest in under 5 minutes.

      • Ahiru

        i know 3 bucks ain't that much of a big deal, but i understand his feelings (or maybe mine's different)...

        for example, i bought coastal defense for 1.99 the other day, the following morning it was .99c (less than 12 hours, which 7 of them i was asleep), so that made me kinda mad - not because of a "wasted" buck, but simply cause it was a price here and there it had another...

        same thing i would feel if i were to buy this game at .99c (which by the way, i bought it by .99c) and i saw the new price - not because it was overly expensive, but if i could get it for cheaper and unfortunetaly i couldn't, i'd feel bad for it..

        and by the way, remember back when app store arrived? DUDE, lots of crappy games were like 9.99 simply because it was a new market, they thought it would go as a mobile games market flows, but it didn't - it turned out to be a "cheap" market, where people don't wanna spend 10 bucks on a "mobile" game anymore (i mean generally)

  • kalel39

    Wow what a d**k move and raise the price from .99 to 2.99 today, Oct. 6th.
    PASS.

    • timeismoney

      hey, just bought a coffee for $3.50 and the game for $3. The coffee was done in about 20 min, but I'm still tryin to get through the game. $3 is still less than I pay for about, oh, everything. wish I found it on sale, but it is well worth the price. very polished, excellent control, and challenging enough to not loose interest in under 5 minutes.

      • Ahiru

        i know 3 bucks ain't that much of a big deal, but i understand his feelings (or maybe mine's different)...

        for example, i bought coastal defense for 1.99 the other day, the following morning it was .99c (less than 12 hours, which 7 of them i was asleep), so that made me kinda mad - not because of a "wasted" buck, but simply cause it was a price here and there it had another...

        same thing i would feel if i were to buy this game at .99c (which by the way, i bought it by .99c) and i saw the new price - not because it was overly expensive, but if i could get it for cheaper and unfortunetaly i couldn't, i'd feel bad for it..

        and by the way, remember back when app store arrived? DUDE, lots of crappy games were like 9.99 simply because it was a new market, they thought it would go as a mobile games market flows, but it didn't - it turned out to be a "cheap" market, where people don't wanna spend 10 bucks on a "mobile" game anymore (i mean generally)

  • BlackDevil

    Aww man come on last day of sale should mean they raise the price tomorrow wtf?

    Lower it back to .99 and instant buy! Kinda hard to pay 3x more when it was so cheap a couple hours ago.

  • BlackDevil

    Aww man come on last day of sale should mean they raise the price tomorrow wtf?

    Lower it back to .99 and instant buy! Kinda hard to pay 3x more when it was so cheap a couple hours ago.

  • intake66

    I wanted to get it, and I might still. Based on the interesting concept and the positive reviews. My bad for not jumping at the .99 cent price.

  • intake66

    I wanted to get it, and I might still. Based on the interesting concept and the positive reviews. My bad for not jumping at the .99 cent price.

  • drunknbass

    complaining about 3 $.. will be great when there are no more quality games because of lowballing and you can sell your iphones and afford to buy 2 on a psp ;)

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Welcome to TA -- the cheapest place on Earth!

    • timeismoney

      word.

  • drunknbass

    complaining about 3 $.. will be great when there are no more quality games because of lowballing and you can sell your iphones and afford to buy 2 on a psp ;)

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Welcome to TA -- the cheapest place on Earth!

    • timeismoney

      word.

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    Looks like a $3 game at least, to me. What's the issue here? Are you guys just letting off steam about missing the sale? What does this have to do with the quality of the game?

    Anyway, this looks much better in motion than the stills. The cel-shading is nice, too. I've got a little in my game, but I'd love to get real outlines on my entire stages. Not in this version, I don't think. Unfortunately it's expensive performance wise without shaders (and only 3GS has those and the more expensive iPod Touches support them).

  • http://www.buzzabit.com/aaron Aaron Sullivan

    Looks like a $3 game at least, to me. What's the issue here? Are you guys just letting off steam about missing the sale? What does this have to do with the quality of the game?

    Anyway, this looks much better in motion than the stills. The cel-shading is nice, too. I've got a little in my game, but I'd love to get real outlines on my entire stages. Not in this version, I don't think. Unfortunately it's expensive performance wise without shaders (and only 3GS has those and the more expensive iPod Touches support them).

  • crybaby

    Ignore the complainers about the $3 price tag. These are the same selfish people that will actually lower their rating on a game solely based on a sale, demand a refund for the difference, etc. They're miserable people and just get enjoyment out of complaining.

  • crybaby

    Ignore the complainers about the $3 price tag. These are the same selfish people that will actually lower their rating on a game solely based on a sale, demand a refund for the difference, etc. They're miserable people and just get enjoyment out of complaining.

  • http://underworlds.pixelminegames.com OneEye

    The game is cool, you guys are spoiled with your .99 talk :)

    Bill
    Pixel Mine

  • http://underworlds.pixelminegames.com OneEye

    The game is cool, you guys are spoiled with your .99 talk :)

    Bill
    Pixel Mine

  • CaseyLay

    That looks so cool and different! It looks somewhat Beetles inspired.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Late Beatles, definitely, but with a lo-fi charm of it's very own.

  • CaseyLay

    That looks so cool and different! It looks somewhat Beetles inspired.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Late Beatles, definitely, but with a lo-fi charm of it's very own.

  • KwikPwn

    Cool game, it scores bonus points for originality.
    Thanks for posting Eli, I missed this one when it was released.

  • KwikPwn

    Cool game, it scores bonus points for originality.
    Thanks for posting Eli, I missed this one when it was released.

  • http://www.elliotlevin.com Elliot

    FYI, here's a fun context photo if you don't know Johnston:

    http://www.hihowareyou.com/images/Curt.jpg

  • http://www.elliotlevin.com Elliot

    FYI, here's a fun context photo if you don't know Johnston:

    http://www.hihowareyou.com/images/Curt.jpg

  • spiffyone

    If a game launches at $3, people would complain that it isn't a buck.

    If the game launches at a buck, but then goes up in price, people would complain that it went up in price.

    As the latter group has among those that won't buy unless a buck, and the former group has among them those that would buy for $3 (early adopters), I think the dev should've just sold it for $3 from the get go. The cheap ones amongst us can always be had later.

    BTW, this game is like that period of time when you're coming off a high and realize you have the munchies, and then you grab a candy bar and take that first bite. Good stuff.

  • spiffyone

    If a game launches at $3, people would complain that it isn't a buck.

    If the game launches at a buck, but then goes up in price, people would complain that it went up in price.

    As the latter group has among those that won't buy unless a buck, and the former group has among them those that would buy for $3 (early adopters), I think the dev should've just sold it for $3 from the get go. The cheap ones amongst us can always be had later.

    BTW, this game is like that period of time when you're coming off a high and realize you have the munchies, and then you grab a candy bar and take that first bite. Good stuff.

  • omnibus

    I'm on this site at least a couple of times a day. The game was listed this morning for the first time at .99 I Followed the link to itunes and it was 3 times that. It would have been pretty easy to miss the price increase and simply press "buy it"

    Guess what, I did'nt.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Guess what, you're missing out.

    • crybaby

      Guess what. Nobody cares.

  • omnibus

    I'm on this site at least a couple of times a day. The game was listed this morning for the first time at .99 I Followed the link to itunes and it was 3 times that. It would have been pretty easy to miss the price increase and simply press "buy it"

    Guess what, I did'nt.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      Guess what, you're missing out.

    • crybaby

      Guess what. Nobody cares.

  • oscillateur

    This game is definitely worth (more than) the 3$ it's sold for. And I've got to admit that it feels good to give money to talented indie developpers (just as I did yesterday with Canabalt, another gem). It's like buying them a virtual beer :).

    Anyway, the game is beautiful (particularly if, like me, you're quite fond of weird things), very well made and has excellent music (of course, it's Daniel Johnston). I just bought it, and have only tried the first two levels so far but it's got a sort of Katamari Damacy-feel that really pleases me...

    This is what indie iphone games should be about, real creation and not insipid tower defense and match-3 clones :).

  • oscillateur

    This game is definitely worth (more than) the 3$ it's sold for. And I've got to admit that it feels good to give money to talented indie developpers (just as I did yesterday with Canabalt, another gem). It's like buying them a virtual beer :).

    Anyway, the game is beautiful (particularly if, like me, you're quite fond of weird things), very well made and has excellent music (of course, it's Daniel Johnston). I just bought it, and have only tried the first two levels so far but it's got a sort of Katamari Damacy-feel that really pleases me...

    This is what indie iphone games should be about, real creation and not insipid tower defense and match-3 clones :).

  • Robert M.

    This game is worth the 3 bucks! Canabalt is not...

    • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

      Your opinion. I would pay 5 and more for both!

    • TKO

      Hmmm.. Canabalt is certainly a simpler game .. lighter on the content. I can see a compelling argument that it should only be one dollar. Me, I got more enjoyment out of Canabalt than Hi, How Are You.

      I'm not saying Hi, How Are You is a lesser game. Just my preference. IMHO, they're both great. Canabalt is stylish, and a great game to fill any 60 second space in time. Hi, How Are You is beautifully arty, and a real joy to explore.

      I'd pay $3.00 for either of them. And, well, I did! :)

  • Robert M.

    This game is worth the 3 bucks! Canabalt is not...

    • http://www.yourpersonalrobot.com your personal robot

      Your opinion. I would pay 5 and more for both!

    • TKO

      Hmmm.. Canabalt is certainly a simpler game .. lighter on the content. I can see a compelling argument that it should only be one dollar. Me, I got more enjoyment out of Canabalt than Hi, How Are You.

      I'm not saying Hi, How Are You is a lesser game. Just my preference. IMHO, they're both great. Canabalt is stylish, and a great game to fill any 60 second space in time. Hi, How Are You is beautifully arty, and a real joy to explore.

      I'd pay $3.00 for either of them. And, well, I did! :)

  • Kita

    This game was definately worth the dollar to satisfy my curiosity. I probably wouldn't have bothered at 3 dollars and I'm guessing other people won't either.

  • Kita

    This game was definately worth the dollar to satisfy my curiosity. I probably wouldn't have bothered at 3 dollars and I'm guessing other people won't either.

  • Ahiru

    nice little game, reminds me of a dunno-the-name-now xbox live indie game (a jumping ball that has to color each tile before finishing the level)...

    great graphics and controls (thankfully it uses a d-pad, hate tilting)

  • Ahiru

    nice little game, reminds me of a dunno-the-name-now xbox live indie game (a jumping ball that has to color each tile before finishing the level)...

    great graphics and controls (thankfully it uses a d-pad, hate tilting)

  • Michael

    I took the dollar that I was going to spend on this game (when I saw it for a dollar at work this afternoon) and spent it on Tap Tap Revenge 3. Now I've spent well over $2.99 with TTR3 with no regrets :) I think the dev did poorly jacking up the price like that. Ahh well, to each his own.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      I picked up both. I like TTR3 (better than the previous versions, anyway), but Hi, how are you is the better game.

      The developers didn't "jack up the price like that," by the way. They had an introductory sale. It ended. I fail to see why that is so offensive to people.

  • Michael

    I took the dollar that I was going to spend on this game (when I saw it for a dollar at work this afternoon) and spent it on Tap Tap Revenge 3. Now I've spent well over $2.99 with TTR3 with no regrets :) I think the dev did poorly jacking up the price like that. Ahh well, to each his own.

    • http://www.squarezerostudio.com squarezero

      I picked up both. I like TTR3 (better than the previous versions, anyway), but Hi, how are you is the better game.

      The developers didn't "jack up the price like that," by the way. They had an introductory sale. It ended. I fail to see why that is so offensive to people.

  • The Theory

    This is going to get a purchase from me simply based on Daniel Johnston.
    The fact that the game looks pretty stellar is even better.

  • The Theory

    This is going to get a purchase from me simply based on Daniel Johnston.
    The fact that the game looks pretty stellar is even better.

  • CaseyLay

    I'm thinking of buying this, but I'm not completely sure. Looks awesome, and the music sounds great, but since I've been buying toward the scale of re-playability, I'm wondering what I can do in the game to keep me occupied after I beat it.

  • CaseyLay

    I'm thinking of buying this, but I'm not completely sure. Looks awesome, and the music sounds great, but since I've been buying toward the scale of re-playability, I'm wondering what I can do in the game to keep me occupied after I beat it.

  • http://mattplays.com/ Matt

    I'm finding the game to be well worth the $3, and I'm very happy that I bought it. I can't say enough how great the art and music are in this game. This is the kind of game that is well suited for the iPhone, and I'm all for both supporting the indie devs and enjoying a good game.

    Since the day the App Store came out, I've far more enjoyed games from indie developers than from big-name developing houses. They're more willing to be creative and understand what is fun and what isn't.

    • TKO

      I completely agree. The sheer artistic style of this game is hard to quantify. And, on top of all that, it's a top notch game. The visual style is both hand-made (in the textures), but with super smooth animation, rotation and fades that makes it feel totally professional at the same time.

  • http://mattplays.com/ Matt

    I'm finding the game to be well worth the $3, and I'm very happy that I bought it. I can't say enough how great the art and music are in this game. This is the kind of game that is well suited for the iPhone, and I'm all for both supporting the indie devs and enjoying a good game.

    Since the day the App Store came out, I've far more enjoyed games from indie developers than from big-name developing houses. They're more willing to be creative and understand what is fun and what isn't.

    • TKO

      I completely agree. The sheer artistic style of this game is hard to quantify. And, on top of all that, it's a top notch game. The visual style is both hand-made (in the textures), but with super smooth animation, rotation and fades that makes it feel totally professional at the same time.

  • http://www.wiglingtonandwenks.com fun games for kids

    Definitely one of the best iphone games so far :D

  • http://www.wiglingtonandwenks.com fun games for kids

    Definitely one of the best iphone games so far :D

  • jon

    You guys complaining about the price... "three times more!!!" fail to acknowledge that it is only two dollars more than the sale price.

    Sure it is more, but two dollars is only a little more. I'd hate to see what you folks leave as a tip after going out to eat.

    I just bought this game partially out of spite. I love D. Johnston, but it was the ridiculous complaints here that pushed me into the buy column— I want to distance myself from you silly people.

  • jon

    You guys complaining about the price... "three times more!!!" fail to acknowledge that it is only two dollars more than the sale price.

    Sure it is more, but two dollars is only a little more. I'd hate to see what you folks leave as a tip after going out to eat.

    I just bought this game partially out of spite. I love D. Johnston, but it was the ridiculous complaints here that pushed me into the buy column— I want to distance myself from you silly people.

  • Matt

    Video or it doesn't exist.

  • Matt

    Video or it doesn't exist.

  • intake66

    it's back to .99 cents! just picked it up!

  • intake66

    it's back to .99 cents! just picked it up!

  • http://www.smashingstudios.com sbroumley

    A lite version is now available in the app store so you can try before you buy!

    itms://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=334630927&mt=8&s=143441

    thanks for your support!
    Steve Broumley (programmer on the game).

  • http://www.smashingstudios.com sbroumley

    A lite version is now available in the app store so you can try before you buy!

    itms://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewSoftware?id=334630927&mt=8&s=143441

    thanks for your support!
    Steve Broumley (programmer on the game).

  • http://www.mimogames.com Kids Virtual Worlds

    Awesome game!

  • http://www.mimogames.com Kids Virtual Worlds

    Awesome game!