Hikkoshi, or "Lonely House-Moving" as we gaijin might say, is the latest social metaphor driven arcade game from Nigoro, the folks behind every one's favorite slapping game, Rose and Camellia. You play a lonely shmuck who, after watching his girlfriend leave him in a moving truck, suddenly gets the inspiration to act and—for perhaps the first time in his life—goes ahead and gets what he wants.
You control the guy as he runs after his girlfriend's truck, with her casually staring on ahead, the wind blowing through her hair, not noticing that her former lover is performing an act of physical endurance on Olympic par. Control the guy with the [left] and [right] arrow keys and press the [space bar] to jump and to avoid hazards like birds dropping poop bombs, cyclists, gophers, and various junk that tumbles out the back of the moving truck. Get hit and lose some life, grab some food that is occasionally thrown out to get some back. Jumping over things yields a point bonus, jumping onto things (as long as they're alive) yields more of a point bonus. Stay in the running for long enough and you win, simple as that.
Analysis: Lonely House-Moving is more than just a simple run, jump and dodge game, it's a meditation on love and what a person is willing to do for that love. The setting sun that marks your progress through the game implies a subtle sense of loss, like the sun has set on the relationship, while simultaneously all the junk that imperils you gradually lightens the truck. Eventually, it becomes so light that the girlfriend notices, and sees you, so she jumps right out the back of the truck. When you see this happen, you're suddenly jarred out of the conventional arcade-score triumph you might expect from similar games in the genre, and you're inspired with a sudden moment of ownership: you are this man possessed by a sudden exuberance. I jumped right up to catch her in my arms. The feeling is genuine.
(Note: I don't know what happens if you let her hit the ground.)
Lonely House-Moving doesn't appear to be an artistically borne game at first. Instead you'll probably think its a game trying to be artistic while having pretty basic gameplay. Once you beat it, you'll realize that the dodging of material possessions—not the cause but the mode of the girlfriend leaving—is a pretty good metaphor for the state of the relationship at that point. The gophers, birds and cyclists are a bit of a distraction from this, diluting what otherwise would be very pure, thus making it a bit more cartoonish. They could have devised junk from the truck that has similar vector patterns, maybe not identical, but similar, and had more consistency to the overall gameplay/aesthetic slipstream.
Oh, and the "art" is also high quality, lush digital painting style, great color cascades on the sunset; nice production values on the interface and pretty good character design.
Lonely House-Moving is something worth trying and sharing with your significant other.
Cheers to Psychotronic for suggesting the game!
Great game, lots of fun. If I could run like that, maybe I could get into the Olympics. Very hard. The bicycle riders add alot to that, as they are the hardest to avoid and give the most damage.
Very fun game, but really hard. I even had trouble with it on the easiest mode. I've found that there are multiple endings you can get depending on what you do.
If you catch the girl the wrong way, you'll both go tumbling and a game over screen will appear.
During the game, one box that gets thrown from the truck has underwear in it. If you catch it, it'll appear on your head, and when you reach the end, and catch the girl correctly, she'll kiss you, then slap you, then the game over screen will appear.
However, if you are able to make it all the way to the end without any mishaps, you'll both kiss, and then the credits will roll. I think that's the best ending so far.
Oh yeah, if you don't catch her, she'll just start rolling, and if she hits you, you'll be sent rolling too.
I've only found these endings through the easiest mode. I'm pretty sure there are some variations with the other difficulty settings.
If you're having trouble or trying for a high score try these tips.
1. Missing catching the girl has the same effect as catching her in midair. To get a bonus you need to catch her from the ground.
2. If you're having difficulty avoiding the bicyclers make sure to turn your sound up. You can hear the squeaking of their tires before they appear.
3. Not exactly helpful but the girls undergarments that come out of one of the last crates don't damage you. They instead get tangled in your hair.
Overall I feel this is an excellent game. Although the game mechanics and idea were very good themselves, the art really brings it all together. The beauty of the background and the simplicity of the foreground makes the game for me.
If you let her bra or panties hit you, they'll stay on your head until the end of the game, and then she'll slap you when she sees you wearing them.
1) She jumps, and you miss because you're too close to the truck. She rolls offscreen and you chase her.
2) She jumps, and you miss because you're too far away from the truck. She rolls innto you, knocking you down, and you both roll offscreen.
3) She jumps, you jump and catch her in midair. You land and roll offscreen together.
4) She jumps, and you catch her. You both kiss. The credits roll.
The bicycles are easy (well, easier) to dodge when you remember to listen for their bell.
Really fun game.
I'd like to put in a request that reviews and comments describing games' victory end-scenes, even simple ones such as this, be spoiler-tagged. They usually are on JIG, I think.
Interesting thing about this:
Items that have not fallen from the truck (e.g. mole, bird, bike) can be jumped on, rather than over, for extra points.
Very fun game.
Go nameless lonely guy! For the sake of love!
I don't know if anyone has noticed, but one can jump on top of the animals for extra points. Still have to try it the bicyclist.
That, and that grazing/comboing nets you higher points in general. Not for the light-hearted, though.
Ah, another ending:
This is in addition to the "You are too far from the truck". The girl will roll along the ground, and you can jump over her to trigger the "You are too close the truck" ending.
what a beautiful looking game, and sweet (as in romantic) concept.
sometimes I get 40,000 points for landing on something accidentally, but I haven't caught what it is... maybe the mole? (groundhog?)
Also, some things you get points for landing on top of (like the crow), and other things trip you. I haven't got it to work with the cyclist - maybe it has to be a precise hit?
I also like the jaunty way the score etc comes on to the screen. Easy to do in Flash, but seldom seen.
Too hard; I can't even finish the easiest level.
Too bad the review spoiled the ending, though.
A bit difficult at first, especially when trying to sort out small projectiles from food.
I'm probably being a bit cynical, but I think the relationship metaphors are a bit over the top.
Perhaps we're reading just a little too much into the game?
Anyway, I'll be coming back to this one again.
Noo, I think the review is spot on. The reviewer just scratched the surface.
You see, the gophers symbolize all the dirty things kept "underground" which inevitably rise to the surface when the relationship is ending. The pooping bird is all the dirty stuff people say to each other when breaking up, nasty and hard clean. Cyclist is a clear symbol of "other man" who appears out of nowhere and is devastating to the relationship. The underwear is sex, sure enough, and since it sticks to the boys head it clearly represents how he just can't keep sex off his mind and how he only wants the girlfriend back for that reason. Evading the underwear is a metaphor for seeing beyond the physical and entering the sphere of emotional. The corn throwing lady is...
OK, maybe this IS just an arcade game.
Nice way to put it, baba44713. But i just like to see it as an arcade game. Very nice, keep up the good work, Jay!
Is anyone else getting an alert window that says, "Sorry! This page doesn't permit access directly!" When you click ok, it takes you to the page but the game never loads. I'm running Firefox.
Yes, debaser80, I'm getting the same issue. I tried it in IE and couldn't get it to load at all, so I'm really just confused. Anybody have any insight?
debaser80, Dr Neptar - I cannot reproduce the problem, and I've tested on both Mac and Windows, Firefox and IE.
Nice game! Finished default level after about 3 tries (durn gophers, they pop out of nowhere!)
About your problem, sounds like anti-hotlinking. But I ran the game from the link and I had no such problem (Firefox).
Possible IP range ban...?
Just so you know, the guy and girl in this game are actually a "more than a friend, but less than a lover".(I think the author means just a very close friend) The guy did love her, but he didn't have courage to tell her he loved her.. but when he saw her lonely face while moving away, he remembered the good days, the feeling in his heart. When he realized, he was recklessly chasing the girl.
Thanks, Taku. I knew there was some reason why this game got to me so intensely. I can identify with that situation.
The relationship is actually really well drawn even without the text. The body language of the characters doesn't make it look like they had a fight, and the way the guy just suddenly starts running indicates he wasn't planning to go after her, but a sudden truthful impulse put him into action.
I'm a little confused by the people who don't want to see the game as anything more than a simple run/jump arcade game. I think it's clear that there's at least a deeper layer of emotion here than, say, Moon Patrol. Even if the relationship metaphor isn't blatant, a lot of care was obviously put into the setting of the game, and I don't see what's wrong with discussing the choices the authors made. The possibility of a metaphor would add more to the game, rather than detract from it, right?
Personally, I think the setting sun and the dodging of material goods isn't intended to be metaphor for the state of their relationship. It always felt like the dawning of a new relationship to me, rather than one that has gone twilight. But dodging stuff in the context of this little guy's newfound love-struckedness is a nice illustration of the way you have to prioritize if you discover that you really want something. I honestly feel like I'll take a little piece of this game away with me and it might improve my life in some tiny way. That makes the game an artistic success in my mind.
After a bit of trail and error (and playing lvl 5 20+ times), I've realized what I said about points depending on grazing/comboing is somewhat incorrect. I'm pretty sure there is comboing bonuses, but the bulk of the points are based on how far to the right side of the playing field you are when you are over/upon the item in question.
NOTE that I wrote playing field, not distance from truck. Those who played the harder levels understand what I mean.
That's why you can get as low as 10000 for jumping a bike, and as high as 99999 for the same action.
Needless to say, really not for the light-hearted.
Literally said, I question if any of us have the stamina/life to do what this man is doing. But thinking about it, I see this game throwing a different philosophy: the fact that none of us know the value of things until we lose it. As stated before, the guy and the girl aren't really a boyfriend/girlfriend couple, more of "close friends with feelings" couple, if you know what I mean. It takes the girl to move away before the guy realizes his feelings.
We all have these moments, there is no denying that. It's just what one does when that moment comes. I envy this guy, because at least he has the courage to do something productive, despite the fact that he has to evade birds, moles, bikes, assorted furniture, and even undergarments to do so. We all have that fear of failure, this man doesn't even fear death.
Of course, in the end, this is a game. Please don't go and run after your loved ones for miles on end, you can seriously die. But the point is that he did something, while a lot of us would not have that courage.
My two cents, take them or leave them.
level 5 is insane!!!
If you jump over a mole, crow, and cyclist all at the same time you get 99,999 points out of it, I've done this twice so far to verify.
Love this game! Quite a welcome back, after some time away from JIG. Rather difficult, no doubt, even in the easiest of settings; but you can't help but feel a sense of accomplishment when, after all your hard work, after all the obstacles, you finally get the girl. The music is quite fitting too. Great find.
roar the stupid bra is the part i always die at
dbaser80 and Dr Neptar, my sister and I have been having the same problem as you on all of Nigoro's games. We just figured out that disabling your ad-blocker will get it working. (You can turn it back on afterwards, and disabling adblocker on firefox made it start working for internet explorer as well.)
Game won't load :(