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Twin Hobo Rocket


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Rating: 3.7/5 (70 votes)
| Comments (25) | Views (10)

PatrickTwin Hobo RocketFrom the deranged minds of Edmund McMillen and Florian Himsl (Komix), creators of Coil and Triachnid, comes the most important game about vagrant hallucinations ever made: Twin Hobo Rocket. You control a rocket to which are tied twin hobos as they hustle change from floating balloons and irritated aliens. Topping off the insanity is a crucial song by Kadaa and hilarious voice-over dialogue between the two bums.

The game begins on a picket-fenced street, overlooking what appears to be the night time vista of the Hollywood Hills. Controls are simple, just push the arrow keys to move the rocket around. There is some subtlety to your movements, however. Asteroids abound threatening to dent and eventually destroy your craft. A great strategy for avoiding them is to merely tap the [arrow] keys, instead of holding them, so that your forward momentum is lower and you'll have more time to react to things as they fly on-screen. You will want to follow that arrow to a UFO that drops change if you hang around without bumping it. The trick to soliciting change from extraterrestrials is to tap the [down] arrow key, keeping you just under it's cargo bay doors. Balloons full of coin also randomly exist throughout space. Overall objective: Try to get the high score!

Analysis: Another crazy, brilliant, and slightly-offensive-in-a-good-way title from this dynamic duo. These guys really know how to push the novelty button, and cleanly. Twin Hobo Rocket is another example of a short-form game that does exactly what it sets out to do; polished and complete. The carrot that keeps you going, more than the high score board, is the brilliant dialogue. The quip about the stolen camping gear is my favorite; at GDC this year I gave $20 to a hobo who claimed his sleeping bag was stolen at the laundromat—classic. The bit about the NSA makes sense in the context that the NSA began as an organization called SIGMA, whose task involved the investigation of UFO phenomena and/or the perpetration of a PsyOps where a UFO hoax might be leveraged as a 20th century version of terrorism. I love it that a game about hobos touches on these kinds of obscure, geekalicious references.

Strap on, forget that you're actually lying in an alley, and fly to the moon!

Play Twin Hobo Rocket

25 Comments

Ben Mo May 1, 2008 3:52 PM

I am sorry. That rocket is phallic. Seriously.

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xdrngy Author Profile Page May 1, 2008 5:29 PM

Once you get the hang of this, this is a fun game.
Eventually I managed just over $50

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Coldfrog Author Profile Page May 1, 2008 5:33 PM

Utterly hilarious... for the first 10 minutes. The gameplay gets kind of tedious after a while and it doesn't seem to get much more difficult after about 20 dollars, however high that is. The conversation is of course quite amusing, but from a single-player point of view, it's much too easy. Perhaps it is meant for 2?

I have to commend the style though, I could watch those happy crazy meteors flying through the sky for a while. Might make a great screensaver... (does anyone actually make screensavers anymore?)

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Anonymous May 1, 2008 5:46 PM

I can't get this game to open! I've been listening to the goofy theme music for about five minutes now, and am looking at the screen that says "P1" "P2" and shows the keys for each. And now the music is looping again. "But it done me wrooong..."

Any help here?

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Ben Mo is spot on!

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With this game you could easily go on indefinitely due to the money constantly repairing your rocket. I do think this game would be quite fun in MP though.

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In the immortal words of Mr. Mackey... "Kids, don't do drugs... drugs are bad... m'kay"

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whocares May 1, 2008 9:25 PM

Let's make fun of homeless people. Hooray.

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Ben Mo: so true! Exactly what I came in the forum to comment on! Wow, I wonder how hard they had to think to come up with that.

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I don't really find it all that offensive. My father's a retired police officer - back when he was a cop, one of the guys he used to run in regularly was a pan-handeler who turned out to be a fraud.

The guy had a job making decent money, but he used what he pan-handeled to purchase meth, because he could make a pretty good sum working the same area and he didn't want his wife to get suspicious about where their money was going.

These two guys kinda remind me of that. I know there are some legitimate people on the streets who need help, but that's why we donate regularly to women's, men's, and women and children's shelters, and give out literature about these places. Pan-handling isn't safe for anyone, pan-handeler included.

So I don't really see it so much as making fun of the homeless as I do playing with a variation on the stereotype. I don't really find it offensive, but I've got a different perspective on the situation, as well.

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I don't find it that offensive. After all, it could be a man in pink cooking for his sick wife... woops wrong game :)

Um, I don't realy find this game offensive, because it don't find it very clever. Some of the speech is funny but "ooh a dollar, I'm rich!" and "who needs clothes when you can buy beer" makes it quite obvious that whoever wrote those words thinks poor=stupid, which I don't find offensive, but rather just a bad opinion.

The song for this game is AWESOME however!

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bear_whisperer Author Profile Page May 2, 2008 3:08 PM

Cool game, but I LOVE that song!! Anyone know where i can get it?

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For what it's worth, everything the characters say in the game is quoted from actual hobos.

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treser May 2, 2008 8:01 PM

kidsafe ....errr m'kay...

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What's not kidsafe about it? If you can provide a compelling argument for why it isn't, I'd be glad to change the tag.

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treser May 2, 2008 8:12 PM

jay....i dont wish to argue...just found it kind of funny

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Have you tried spinning the rocket? If not, spin it for a bit. Fun stuff.

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Yeah, I don't want to argue either. :)

I paused when I first typed in 'kidsafe' when we published this review, but then couldn't think of a reason why not.

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Why not kidsafe?

While the hobos aren't exactly paragons of virtue, they do tend to, mmm... support a negative lifestyle. If nothing else, the constant references to beer drinking doesn't jive with me as being kidsafe, even if they're supposed to be an example of why not to drink.

By the by - this is just me being curious, but where did you get that the lines were all from actual hobos? Are they lines that other people recorded somewhere about panhandling lines, or are they lines that the authors of the game got handed, or what?

S.co - I'm with you, it's not terribly clever. It's a good way to kill time when you're tired of playing bloons, though! Hee. So we're of the same opinion. Well, there is one thing I'm quasi-contra - it doesn't *necessarily* have to be interpreted as "poor = stupid" depending on how you want to view the characters. They could just be shady crooks who prefer to spend their money on booze than other things, and not necessarily poor themselves. I've seen rich kids get busted for stealing and begging because it was a good way to get fast cash on hand to buy their drug of choice. So eh.

I like the way it's set up. It could use something to spice it up, though. Mmm... The music is *awesome!* Maybe a tweak in the story line... blah.

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Anonymous May 3, 2008 1:33 AM

Having stumbled upon this while browsing the internet, I must say that the game is many times better when played with a companion.

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I don't know many details, but the authors say all the lines in the game are things that they have heard on the street. That's from the forum discussion at TIGSource about the game, which was entered into the Video Game Name Generator competition there. They recorded the voices themselves, but I'm not sure who the actor is offhand.

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An average game. Saved by the choice of music and the graphics from being mediocre. The voice acting is OK, but gets a bit repetitive. This is for the single player game, maybe two player is a better experience. And I am now on a search through Kaada tracks to find this one!

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kind of fun for a minute or two but definitely not "brilliant"

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tattooyu Author Profile Page May 6, 2008 4:14 PM

The game does get pretty repetitive after a while but I liked it a lot. I'm all about the twisted and demented!

Anybody know what that sample is in the music? Sounds like an old spiritual that says: "Roll me over honey. Roll me over slow. Those bullets keep me hurting...something, something". I don't know how old everyone is, but the music is very "Neverland"-ish to me, which is why I totally dig it.

:)

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tattooyu Author Profile Page May 6, 2008 4:23 PM

Sorry to double post, but I'm pretty sure the vocals are from an old spiritual/memorial called "Frankie and Johnnie". There are tons of different versions of the song and the lyrics, but I think that's it...in case anyone was interested.

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