There are few mobile games I enjoy playing, and this little game, Hoppenhelm, is one of them. Are you tired of mobile games with a stupid amount of microtransactions that suggest that the game is “pay to win”? Do you hate energy mechanics that allow you to play for 2-3 minutes but then require you to wait 3-4 hours before you can play again? Do you want a mobile game that you can pick up and play without worrying that you’ll “forget where you were” if you don’t play for a few days? Then Hoppenhelm, a fun little action-platformer by Bun Gun just might be the game for you!
Premise. The story behind Hoppenhelm is simple. You are a knight (and you can choose/unlock one of nine different knights to play) seeking treasure in a dungeon. You hop through the dungeon, which is randomly generated, fighting monsters, avoiding traps, and collecting coins. Simple. Straightforward. Much like the classic platformers I played as a kid.
Gameplay. The gameplay is simple, which makes it ideal for a smartphone (Apple and Android!). You have three action buttons – move forward, defend, and attack. As you explore the linear dungeons, lava rises beneath you. As long as you keep moving, the lava stays at the bottom of the screen. Remain in one location for too long, and you will be consumed in lava. The goal is simple – score “points” through the number of steps you take in the dungeon.
As previously stated, you get to choose your character, but you also get to choose your weapon. Different heroes and different weapons grant you different abilities. Some heroes have more health than others, some do more damage, some find more coins. Some weapons do more damage, can destroy traps, or magically draw all coins on the screen to you.
Each hero and weapon can be unlocked via the coins you access in game. Here’s the kicker, though – there are no microtransactions for buying coins! You can earn coins through play or through viewing ads. That’s it.
Enjoyment. I enjoy the game. The graphics are clear and distinct. The randomly generated levels are mentally stimulating. The gameplay is simple enough to master in a way that allows me to zone out of the world while I play. This is a game that I play to destress. I find this game calming. The controls are responsive and intuitive. If I would complain about one thing, it’s that the music/sound volume is way too loud, but that’s just a simple fix on the Options menu.
Mobile Game Problems. Again, I’ve ranted in the past about why I really have difficulty finding mobile games that I can enjoy so I won’t go into detail about that topic here. However, I can say that Hoppenhelm does not have those problems. There is no energy mechanic to deplete. Your character has between 3 and 4 hearts of life, and you die after that gets depleted. However, you can keep playing infinitely – or until your battery dies. Also, there is only one microtransaction – $0.99 to remove in-game ads. That’s it. The game is fully free to play without worry.
Closing Thoughts. Mobile games have gotten super deep and detailed over the past few years. And that’s awesome. Hoppenhelm, in contrast, is simple and straightforward. It plays like an old-school platformer (back when we only had A and B buttons on our controllers), and it plays well. It’s not perfect, but it avoids the pitfalls many mobile games run into mechanically, providing an enjoyable experience that lasts as long as your fingers/thumbs can hold up. I’ve been playing this game for a few months, and it’s the longest I have played a mobile game in my life.
Rating. 3.9 out of 4 Helmed Bats.