Hinquer by CoolPixelGames is an anime-styled top down physics based targeting game. Similar in idea with games such as Angry Birds, Fragger or Ragdoll Blaster, the mechanics behind Hinquer are quite different from these games, the first and foremost difference being that as a top down game, the physics engine works differently than a side view game. And by differently, we mean „not very well”.
Hinquer brings you into a world that is under attack by demonic forces. It is your job to choose whether you will represent the forces of good or the forces of evil. The forces of good will obviously try to defend our world while the forces of evil try to conquer it.
Whichever side you choose, you then have a choice of one out of three possible characters. In honesty, all good guys are the same and all bad guys are the same. The difference is in the actual model of the character and the projectile they throw.
The game play differs between good guys and bad guys, in that they have different goals. Whichever you choose, your battle is basically a 1 on 1 fight in a small square area. Your goal is to either hit a „target” sign (if you chose the good guys), or conquer as much as you can (if you chose the bad guys) as you and your opponent take turns throwing knives, shuriken, axes, spears and other projectiles at each other.
Like in other similar games, you control the direction and power of the shot via an arrow that changes length and color to signify the power. Unlike other games like Angry Birds however, there is no trajectory shown for the last show you made, so you’ll need to play the game for a while in order to get the feel of how strong a shot is, depending on the angle, and so on.
Unfortunately, the controls aren’t very good. You need to drag the character’s hand back, and according to how you position it (and therefore the arrow), your character will shoot. However, often times, the moment you release in order to shoot, the hand/arrow will move as if you slid your finger, causing you to miss your shot completely. This leads to huge amounts of frustration.
The frustration is only worsened by the fact that you are on a timer, so these missed shots hurt you a lot. When the 3 minute timer reaches zero, if you haven’t beaten the level, it’s an automatic loss. The shooting system doesn’t help with this either, as it lags and takes about 4-5 seconds before the arrow begins interacting properly with your commands, so you’re constantly losing even more time.
The physics engine itself behaves very strangely. Perhaps we’re simply not used to top down targetting games, but it simply feels wrong, because of the fact that your projectile’s destination is heavily altered if you only change the angle just a little bit.
The game isn’t all bad, however. If you get past the poor translations and the game play issues above, it’s got a type of fun anime-inspired asian retro feel to it, that a lot of people go for. The game’s levels were well designed in that there are obstacles that will either outright block your shots or force you to waste a shot in order to break them. The game play becomes more difficult with each level, whether in the shape of the already conquered areas, or for the players that chose the good side, the fact that the target area you have to hit gets smaller, then starts moving around. There’s definitely a level of strategy to the game once you get past all of its short comings, and you will need to choose your shots wisely.
Crates will drop down every turn (assuming the previous one was picked up), and whoever hits them gets the upgrade found inside. Beware, your AI enemies will also try to get these upgrades, and honestly they’re pretty sweet. Double shot is hugely powerful as it basically gives you 2 additional shots in one single turn. Divine heal is perfect for the players that chose the evil faction as it increases the area you conquer, Auto-Aim is great for everyone. There is the downside that the crate might contain a „curse” which isn’t such a huge deal for the good players, but quite terrible for the evil players.
There is a level of replayability, as each level can be completed on „Casual”, „Hardcore” or „Unleash Hell” difficulty. You’re only rewarded for victory however. There is no mechanic to reward you for the number of shots, or crates picked up, or how long it took you to finish the level. There is also no Game Center or Open Feint integration either.
All in all, the game doesn’t seem quite „complete”. It gives us the impression of a rushed product that could have been much better if a bit more time and effort were invested into it. On the upside however, the developers have told us that an update will appear soon, and this might in fact take care of some of the more frustrating issues with the game.