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