A Good Hunch!
A charming platformer with a healthy dose of puzzle elements, A Good Hunch! by Philipp Seifried and Markus Mundjar is an entry into our third Game Design Competition. Each level puts you in control of Harvey and Tina, two brightly colored goats who are trying to reach the exits in each stage. You only control one character at a time, but after the first goat reaches an exit, his or her movements are repeated as you move the other character through the level. Hopping on the back of your friend lets you bounce higher than your normal jump, opening up a wide range of gameplay possibilities that Philipp and Markus explore with (adorable) artistic style.
Using the spacebar to jump and the arrow keys to move, your first goal in each stage is to take one of the goats to an exit. As you hop across platforms and explore the layout, take note of key points that seem inaccessible at first glance. To traverse these puzzles, you'll need to take advantage of the repeat function of the game. For example, if an exit is just out of reach, maneuver the goat below and stand there for a few seconds before finishing your first run. Then, when you take control of the second goat, the first goat's actions will be replayed and you can hop on the character's back to get a boost to the top of the platform. Timing the moves can be tricky and often requires several attempts before you get it right. A Good Hunch! lets you undo a turn and switch goats with a simple click of the mouse, so frustration is usually kept to a minimum.
Analysis: Although it's extraordinarily cute and illustrates a creative use of our "replay" theme, A Good Hunch! isn't without a few minor flaws. Both the physics and the hit detection feel a little spongy, creating some frustrating moments trying to land on platforms just right. This is exacerbated when timing is an important issue — one slip-up and your whole scheme could be ruined. Sound effects are noticeably missing, but given the time constraints of our competition, we'll let that one slide.
The levels and puzzles never get too complex in A Good Hunch!, and fast reflexes and lucky timing are usually emphasized over brain power. The cartoonish art style definitely adds to the game's appeal, and that piano background music fits the atmosphere perfectly.
Overall, A Good Hunch! is a well-designed game with a superb presentation, solid gameplay and an engaging concept. Cheers to Philipp and Markus for the entry!
Update: Just released! Play the Gold Version
zxo - A Good Hunch is one of those charming casual games that just makes you smile, which helps smooth over the frustration you might feel with the physics. Still, it's hard to fault the authors for the physics, considering the short preparation time. The collaborative replay was a great idea, and the level design exploited a full range of solution techniques. I would love to see a sequel with three goats (although I think three's the limit without getting overly complicated)!
Jay - Although one of several entries with a similar interpretation of the "replay" theme, this particular implementation is creative and done very well. A Good Hunch is a gorgeous game with an appealing charm that pulls you in and doesn't want to let go: it just gets prettier the further you get with it. A new version of the game is in the works that addresses the criticisms with the collision detection and the sound support. Look for an update here soon. Well done Philipp and Markus!