Games seldom get much simpler than Hungry Giraffe, and when this simplicity works it can make for some compelling experiences despite a lack of variety. For Hungry Giraffe it absolutely works. It takes no longer than a few minutes to experience all it has to offer but you’ll certainly want to return to it time and time again.
Hungry Giraffe has you control a giraffe’s head as it snakes its way up from the forest floor into space. Reaching the highest point will reset the screen and allow you to continue your climb and rack up those points. You fuel this trip by eating food and avoiding obstacles. Fail to eat enough food and you’ll start to sink back down the screen. If you fall off the screen then it’s game over.
Fruit are the main food you’ll consume but as you rise further fast food like fries and tacos appear and offer a more substantial boost to your climb. To quell your trip are anvils and dumbells that, if consumed, weigh you down and reducing the boost from food temporarily. Additionally poison vials cause your giraffe to vomit all over the screen, obscuring you view, whilst pills reverse the controls.
To help aid you are chilli pepper that’ll zoom you up in a cloud of smoke and flame, passing through anvils unscathed. You can also collect hard hats, which let you activate an emergency boost at the tap of a button in times of need.
Indeed Hungry Giraffe’s simple premise doesn’t mean it’s an easy game, with obstacles doing a marvellous job at testing your reflexes and keeping you engaged. It does, on occasion, feel like the obstacles are overused but falling foul to them is seldom frustrating and more often a welcome challenge. You’ll encounter the game over screen a lot but feel compelled to better your score next time round.
Hungry Giraffe is also an aesthetically attractive game, with charming, bright and colourful visuals brimming with personality and humour helping to set the ridiculous scene. It’s certainly not the most original game, with countless iOS titles beating it to the punch, nor is it the most cerebral, but it’s a great addition to the PlayStation Minis store if iOS gaming doesn’t take your fancy. And you can never have too much of a good thing.
MLG Rating: 8/10 Platform: PS3/ PSP Release Date: 01/02/2012
Disclosure: Midlife Gamer were provided a digital copy of Hungry Giraffe for review purposes by the promoter. The title was reviewed over the course of one week on a PS3. For more information on what our scores mean, plus details of our reviews policy, click here.