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Hedgehog Launch

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Rating: 4.6/5 (164 votes)
Comments (41) | Views (10,905)

zxoHedgehog LaunchWe've come to expect nothing less than excellence when John Cooney (jmtb02.com) releases a new game, and his latest project is no exception.

Hedgehog Launch puts you at the helm of a national space program with a singular goal: get off the planet! Unfortunately, the nation is Minovia Cay, a small Caribbean principality with only 15,000 people, most of whom presumably work in the rum industry as taste testers quality control. Thus you're expected to accomplish spaceflight with $50, a slingshot, and an infinite supply of hedgehogs.

Sound impossible? Ah, but you forget that Minovia Cay is the sort of place where miracles happen, where rivers of milk and honey come tumbling down from the mountaintops and money falls from the sky! Or at least hovers in the atmosphere just waiting for you to snatch it.

With the $50, you can buy some initial upgrades. Then, launch your hedgehog heavenward by dragging it with the mouse and releasing. You won't make it to space the first time, but you can use your side-mounted rocket thrusters [arrow keys] to navigate horizontally and try to bounce off of platforms or pick up coins. Either of these will add money to your stash when your hedgehog finally stops moving (marking the end of the day), but not before bonus multipliers for highest elevation and elapsed time take effect! Use this cash to buy more upgrades and give it another shot. Possible upgrades include improving the stretchiness of your slingshot, increasing the initial slingshot height, better fuel efficiency for your side-rockets, deployable emergency rockets, parachutes, radar, and spiffy goggles.

Analysis: It isn't a matter of if you'll get to space, but when. There's no way to lose money, so eventually you should earn enough to max out your launcher. The challenge lies in reaching space in as few days as possible. As we learned from Compulse, John doesn't always play his own games as well as he crafts them, and indeed it only took me a few tries to beat his best score of 9 days.

Like most of John's games, Hedgehog Launch features a great soundtrack and bright, flashy (if unsophisticated) visual effects. The gameplay deviates a bit from the finger-intensive styles he's favored in the past, relying strongly on lucky placement, but still leaving the user enough control to feel like they're actually playing, rather than spectating as the game plays itself. Though the two games are only marginally related, fans of Nanaca † Crash will probably experience a similar feeling while playing Hedgehog Launch.

So who says you need to have a Ph D in order to send cute furry animals into space? I mean, it's not like it's rocket science or anything! Cheers to John for another top-notch game!

Play Hedgehog Launch

Cheers to Psychotronic and Joye for suggesting this one! =)


What happened to the site skin? It used to be green, and frankly, I liked it better that way. I suppose I'm just not used to the new layout, but what really gets me is that the banner game is gone. I never beat it!


Jaiim: The JIG -template have different themes. The earlier theme was Hapland-games theme. And the current theme is made by Pokedstudio. The theme changes usually once in couple of months.


That was the most fun game you've had on here in a long time. I got up to space on day 8 first try through, but I know I can do better.

God that was fun! Thanks Jay


Cancel that, day 6! The key is not to buy any upgrades besides band, launcher and e-rocket.

Awesome game!

Black Drazon June 26, 2008 6:38 PM

Urgh, Kongregate wants five days or less for this. :S I did it first try in like... 37. I enjoyed myself, though. XD The perpetual grin on the hedgehog's face is great.


I liked it, it is very cute, but there is too much luck to it for me to really get into it. If you could plan your shot by seeing more of the platforms/coins I'd like it better.

Fun game though, nine days is my best so far.


i always love your reviews zxo. your humor always puts a big grin on my face.
in order to get the kongregate badge for 5 days or less...

day 1-max launcher
day 2- buy as much in e-rocket as possible
day 3-max launcher as much as possible
day 4- max e-rocket if not already done, max launcher and band
get to space!!!
never upgrade one box at a time, it is a waste of money. if you dont get really lucky with the amount of cash you get on day 1, start over. and use any extra rocket fule youve got to keep moving as long as possible once you hit the ground.
any other questions? feel free to leave a shout for sgtdroopy on kong.

fuzzyface June 26, 2008 7:00 PM

I was just playing this on kongrate :)

I managed to get space-born within 3 days.

Its mostly about luck when you manage to hit a view golden platforms it really makes a hugh difference, if day 1 and 2 don't work out well you can forget 5-day space-borness. On the 3 day run, I made 5.000$ on day 1!

Optimizations to go for:

band, launcher, e-rockets.

Forget about all others if you want to get to space soon.

ThemePark June 26, 2008 7:45 PM

Sloth, when you say really lucky on Day 1, how much money do you mean? I've never been able to get much more than 7-8 dollars on that day, because I haven't the faintest clue where the gold coins and gold bumpers are, obviously.

Haploid June 26, 2008 7:54 PM

ThemePark, I think that's exactly what he means with "it's mostly about luck". You can't see the platforms coming unless you purchase radar. When a platform comes onto screen, then it's usually too late to try to hit it. You only have enough time to manoeuver onto it if you're at the peak of your curve.

So to get a lot of cash out of day 1, you'll need to have gold platforms appear exactly where you are going to be. Basically, shoot straight up and pray.

I managed to get $250 out of day 1 by some luck. That required hitting two gold platforms and a nice amount of cash.

I like to have more control over a game than this, but other than that, it really is well made. Cute, nice theme, physics that work well, leveling system. Not too much replay value unless you're trying for a high score.


To get to space in 5 days or less (and get the Kong badge), you need to get at least 500 on day 1--enough to buy your first e-rocket. This is 95% luck. If you don't make it, unfortunately you have to refresh, because there's no restart button.

It took me about 25 tries altogether to get to space on the 5th day.

Other than that, yep, concentrate on band and launcher. The fuel efficiency one is nice if you have a little extra money left over after getting as much band, launcher and e-rocket as you can.

Anonymous June 26, 2008 9:30 PM

Very cute - but there are no hedgehogs in the Western Hemisphere!


ending was very sad.


Try 1: 12 days
Try 2: 8 days
Try 3: 5 days

I wish I could say that my performance on day 3 was based on my superlative learning curve, but it was mostly blind luck that got me $800 on day 1. Beyond the advice about e-rockets, the only thing I can say is that I think that parachutes are pretty worthwhile once you start getting some real height: each ten seconds you're in the air increases your score multiplier by 1, and the parachutes give you much more ability to maneuver towards the gold coins and launchers. Try not to hit any blue launchers while parachuting -- the extra dollar isn't worth the loss of your parachute, most probably.


Poor little Hedgies. And as for none in western hemisphere, what about all the hedgehog pets? I mean, sure, none indigenous, but obviously the reason you only get $50 is because they spent so much on shipping...

Anonymous June 26, 2008 10:36 PM


True. I, for one, would welcome more hedgehogs in North America. And would be willing to pay shipping.

It does seem odd that it is a national mascot for a small Caribbean nation. But then there are no tigers or lions in the US and sports teams get named after them all the time.

Come to think of it, I think we need more sports teams named after hedgehogs. GO SPINIES!!


That was fun. Casual gaming at its finest.


There's a "hedgehog" in chess, does that count?

Anonymous June 26, 2008 11:34 PM

Well, JPV, I think you have just out-nerded me. Sure, I will take a chess "hedgehog" if you name the team after the gambit, or whatever it is. (Always thought I SHOULD learn chess... other than "I know how the how the horsey moves" level.)

Now excuse me, I should be working on my dissertation.


The ending was sad.

But maybe a bit less sad than I was expecting. I assumed he was going to drift off like whatshisface in 2001. Perhaps he was an octogenarian hedgehog, and his dream was to end his life as a shooting star....

Which reminds me what I wanted to ask about. The end credits said something like

"no thanks: sugar gliders". Is this game a volley in some underground hedgehog vs. sugar-glider rivalry?


Re: end credits.

I think this is a dig at Kongregate staff member Greg (the one who chooses which games gets badges and cards). Greg has had a thing in his profile for a while that says "sugar gliders > hedgehogs". And he started a post in the Kong forums back in May about the relative superiority or inferiority thereof.

Valarauka June 27, 2008 4:11 AM

Fun game! I too was playing it on Kong just yesterday.. managed 6 days so far, but 5 not yet - I haven't been able to get a good enough run for the first day yet.

About the sugar gliders thing, I seem to recall the game mentions in another place how this would be so much easier if your animal was naturally light and aerodynamic (like a sugar glider!), and the credit is just poking fun at the fact that a hedgehog is not exactly the best animal for endeavors of this nature. One might imagine the sugar gliders observing this space program teasing the clumsy hedgehogs for trying to fly when they're obviously not built for it... ;)

thatdevil June 27, 2008 5:45 AM

Beating on Day 3 is possible, but gotta get extremely lucky on Day 1 (about 7k). Then max out e-rocket, get 1 parachute, then spend the rest on the best value of band and launcher (usually one less launcher than max, rest on band). Save E-rockets for when you miss yellow platforms and just try to stay in air as long as you can, when you're out of e-rockets, parachute alllllll the way down collecting coins. If you last 2 minutes on Day 2, you definitely beat it on Day 3 (I got 30k on Day 2 =))


The arrow keys, they do nothing! Seemingly, at least. For all I know they could be steering by some subpixel amount, but I suspect it's not working for me.

(Flash 9, either Firefox 3.0 or Safari 3.1.1.)


Feeling slightly foolish now that I've just noticed the fuel gauge. I presume I'm supposed to start with some fuel? for I start out with none (and don't see a means to buy any).


I just spend nearly 6 minutes on Day 11, bouncing around and just getting short of space. I ended up making about $700,000 on that day alone, with everything already maxed out.

Cool game!


I guess this is one of the few games I'm good at :P, first try 11 days, second try 4 days.

Upgrades cost are strange, if the fourth upgrade is 170 dollars, then it costs 170 dollars to get to the 4th upgrade if you have none of it, or if you have 3 of it, so if you have none and buy the first, second, third, THEN fourth you pay for each one, if you buy the fourth one, then you only pay for it. General strategy for me was shoot straight up, once near the peak, hit a ramp that would take me higher then the peak I was just at, or use a rocket and repeat, to maximize the multiplier for height. Then just try to hit every ramp you can, so if there are 2 ramps near each other, hit one, stay in the area so you drop onto the other one. The real key is yellow ramps, 10 dollars + huge launch.

Rob Woodard June 30, 2008 1:55 PM

There is one benefit to upgrading rocketpack and left-right rockets - you can use it at "ground level" to flail around and stay moving enough to get past a 10-second barrier or two to get the extra multipliers. It's not as powerful a tool as the band-launcher-erocket building protocols listed above, but it can help.

Also, it's not the point of the game, but I've gotten to enjoy launching sideways and trying to get the longest distance shot I can. I've made it over 150,000 feet. Anyone do better?

I've gotten to space in 4 days, now averaging 6-7 days, and it's still fun launching hedgehogs!

afraid_of_whales July 1, 2008 2:31 AM

I was drunk, I maxed out every skill, including my stylish goggles. I thought of this as an RPG - "max every stat and you win!" - instead, I should not drink. You guys beat the pants off me, and I'm ashamed. I will try again.



Did anyone else notice at the "Mission completed in _ days" screen that

in the lower right corner is says "remember:" and then a set of numbers? Mine was 11249.

Anyone know what this is for? Perhaps a future game??

Anonymous July 7, 2008 4:48 AM

It's a little bit about luck and little bit about skill. You can use the left/right arrow keys to slow the hedgehog down when he's going too fast so when you see a platform, you can guide him towards it. The boosters really help once you learn to use em. Got it in 3 days last try. The keys helped me guide em to platforms and got like 4 or 5k on day 1 and like enough to max everything out on day 2. Good luck.

MadWithMuchHeart July 7, 2008 11:47 PM

Rock. Awesome. Game. Even the soundtrack was notably perfect. And it's adorable too. I don't mind that it took me 21 days, if I'd completed it in 5 I would have been disappointed that it was over! Love it!

arceus121121 August 1, 2008 2:00 PM

OMG how do u people do 4 days?! i did 5 trys and 5th was 19 days! u guys are so lucky.

wordsforth August 6, 2008 2:56 AM

I had a minor problem...saved up to buy the "launcher," I believe (the one which increased the height of the launcher, that is). Bought it, and the little hedgehog was so high I couldn't reach the band to launch him. Anyone else have this trouble? Thanks!


I did almost impossible: 200 trys and Hedgy's in the space on day two)))))). Just try to catch many 10 points trampolins. You actually need to get 10-15k - buy 3 rockets and max band - that's it!
Good luck to everyone))))))


Got it in 3 days...
Day 1: Band+launcher to level 2. Got lucky with 2x gold platform, plus a few blues to slow my descent. Got $900 to end the day.
Day 2: Add 1xE-Rocket, 1xChute, launcher 5. Passed a cluster of 2x gold and 3x blue platforms on the way up, spent some time bouncing on them before firing e-rocket, parachute down. Hit 2 more gold platforms around 400ft. Got $13k to end the day.
Day 3: Launcher max, Band 1 short of max, 3xE-Rocket, stylish and attractive goggles. Was a bit worried when the launch only got me to a bit over 3k feet, but the E-Rockets finished the job.


First Try: 13 days
Second Try: 5 days, with an okay day 1. Almost did in four days, but my band wasn't high enough and even with rockets and gold platforms I only got to about 4175.

El Caba July 11, 2009 9:50 PM

Did no one notice that if you could buy gravity kill the ending should be very different?


Are there any cheats for this game? i need one

Anonymous October 10, 2010 5:20 PM

The Hedgehog

wanted to be a shooting star.

I beat it in 6 days on Kong and going for 5.


amazing first day, forgot to buy anything but I still got $53, Max. Height 5694ft and a run time of 1:37:03. Badass right there. overall money: $2927.29


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