In some ways, platformers are the toughest to make on a mobile platform. There’s always questions regarding the length and difficulty of individual levels, as well as whether the developer can successfully implement a control scheme to make the game accessible enough for level completion and item collection. Crazy Hedgy [$1.99] from Cybertime is a great example of how platformers should be done on iOS. Not only does it get the basics (like gameplay and replayability) right, but the tilt-based control scheme works very well with the rest of the game. Assuming you don’t mind tilt controls, Crazy Hedgy is well worth it and highly recommended.

At its core, Crazy Hedgy is an adventure-platformer that has you playing through a large amount of levels with the primary goal being to get to the end. There’s not much of a story to go on, other than the fact that the land of Green Hedges has changed (and not for the better) and you need to save it. Along the way you’ll find various types of diamonds that can be collected and act as the currency to upgrade your character in the in-game store (IAP need no apply here). In addition, players are charged with collecting gold coins, which unlock the ability to purchase upgrades and are used as an artificial barrier between worlds (each world has about ten levels). In your way is a variety of different enemies and traps that you can either avoid or take on (extra points awarded if you can toss the enemies into those traps).

Crazy Hedgy does a great job with pacing, variety, and gameplay introductions. The gold coins and diamond currency act as natural progression tools towards allowing players to learn new and advanced moves as they get further into the game. In addition, Crazy Hedgy succeeds at preserving core gameplay while building upon it with new moves, different enemies and bosses. This is also reflected in the difficulty curve, which slowly introduces more and more complicated enemies and environments to the point while never making you feel overwhelmed. There’s nothing that ever pops out that confuses you or seems out of the ordinary; it’s relatively easy to use techniques you’ve learned in the past to get towards newer strategies in taking on what you’re encountered.

One minor complaint is that the game doesn’t really stress how important gold coins are – if you don’t collect enough of them in a world, you will get to a point where you’ll have to replay levels looking for them until you get enough to unlock the next set of levels. Granted, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it also gives you an opportunity to earn more diamonds and purchase new upgrades. It’s important to note that there is no IAP in Crazy Hedgy; if you want to progress, you’re going to have to play the game to collect enough gold coins and diamonds (what a concept!).

Controls in Crazy Hedgy are divided into two categories: movement and actions. Movement is exclusively controlled by the accelerometer, and is handled very well. I particularly liked the tilt sensitivity and the plentiful opportunities to calibrate your device. A sensitivity meter would have been nice in the options, but I think as it stands it should suffice for most folks. Occasional controls also pop up on the screen during set quick time events. While they don’t detract from the overall experience, they do feel tacked on and unnecessary.

Actions, meanwhile, or controlled by tapping on the left or right sides of the screen. The right controls jumping (double tap for a longer jump) while the left controls punching and attacking. Initial attacks are restricted to simple tap punches, but as you unlock new moves you can also swipe various ways to control your attacks on the baddies. Considering that the game requires quite a bit of precise jumping and aiming as well as fast reflexes (especially in later levels that have faux timers), I’m pleased that  the controls allow me to accomplish everything I need to succeed in Crazy Hedgy with very little distraction from the controls.

It’s rare to see a platformer on iOS that actually understands all the elements required to make it successful and, most importantly, fun. Crazy Hedgy gets it, and not only offers enough variety, great presentation, and replayability to keep you satisfied, but also offers enough compelling gameplay to simply keep you playing. Nice visuals and music, as well as a good control scheme don’t hurt as well. Folks that don’t like tilt-based games may be turned off by Crazy Hedgy’s control scheme, but I implore you to put those feelings aside and check this game out.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarNone
  • http://twitter.com/1Varo Novaro

    Just read the entire review. Based on your review I don't think that
    this game deserves a 4 though because it didn't stress the importance of
    collecting gold coins since the map implies it. The only other feature
    you requested was a sensitivity slider but then said the sensitivity was
    fine as is.

    I don't disagree with the review itself but based on how you praised the
    game and found such minor faults with it I thought you would have given
    it a better score...

    • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

      A 4-star rating is terrific.  5 stars should always be reserved for games that combine pristine mechanics with impeccable artistic vision and a healthy dose of gameplay satisfaction (a must-buy, if you will).  There should be relatively few games that are 5-star.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_F5NNFEJCEZH456VT3IO3Z43Y5Y Joey

        Like that crap jetpack joyride am I right. I am sure that's the case.

      • http://modmyi.com/forums/iphone-4-new-skins-themes-launches/740147-neurotech-hd.html#post5637502 Jay

        A 5-star rating is not a guarantee that you'll like the game.  It's simply a recommendation. 

      • http://twitter.com/riChchestMat Chris Matchett

        This game meets that criteria so the question of where that missing 5th star went remains unanswered. This won the forum's Game of the Month for December with little or no publicity and deservedly so.

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Where are you seeing any sort of published criteria for TouchArcade ratings?

      • http://twitter.com/riChchestMat Chris Matchett

        The criteria in the post I was replying to.

    • http://www.toucharcade.com Eric Ford

      Personally, I try not to get into debates about scores because it seems to cause more confusion than clarification, but I'll try it this once...

      There's a big difference between a game with little to no faults, and a game that is worthy of five stars. As Jay mentions above, five star games are reserved for the best of the best that implement all their elements in a way that should be appealing to everyone. As good as this game is, it doesn't hit that mark. That's not to say that it isn't highly recommended, but there is a difference. 

      If that doesn't seem clear in my review, then I'll take responsibility and try and be more clear in the future. However, I prefer to show why a game gets the score it receives whether than rationalize why it doesn't get a higher score.

      • http://twitter.com/1Varo Novaro

        Never said that it deserved a 5, just that a 4 was a bit too harsh. A 4.5 to me would have been perfect but it's your opinion. Glad to see the game get some front page coverage in a positive light.

      • Ubersnuber

        Metacritic made people read way too much into numbers.

      • Ubersnuber

        Metacritic made people read way too much into numbers.

  • http://twitter.com/anon_a_miss any-mouse

    I love this game but I agree with the score,
    5 stars Is rarely given, and when it is there is generally no faults whatsoever in the game, and it's super highly polished, a good example of a perfect 5 star game would be "where's my water" it's perfect in everyway! You couldn't fault it of you tried. Even if you hate the genre, its still pretty clear the game is of upmost quality.

    Crazy Hedgy is a great game, but there's definitely room for improvement, which is warranted, WMW was made by Disney of course it's going to be perfect, crazy Hedgy is their first release! And it's damn good for their first game and first version, over time o bet Crazy Hedgy will warrant a 5 star review, but at the moment theirs definitely room for improvement.. The map screen is very amatuer, which is the biggest fault in my opinion, it's good to encourage the devs to make the game perfect by giving it 4 * and 4 stars is nothing to sneeze at! That's very good for a TA rating since TA is usually quite cautious with star giving, most my fav iOS games didn't get a 5 star anyway. I'd be immensely happy with 4 if I were the DEV team, and after a few improvements I'm sure it'll be a 4 1/2 or a 5 in most gamers eyes! It'll be a 5 for me once the map is redone, but others may not consider it a 5 until different controls are added, but I don't think that'd neccesary
    Sensitivity settings would be good though...

Crazy Hedgy - the secret of the candy world Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 4